Total Film - 10/01/2006 3 stars out of 5 -- "Stephen Frears' taut run-through of the week following the demise of The People's Princess sees the bickering royals isolated at Balmoral."
Rolling Stone - 10/05/2006 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "THE QUEEN is one of the best and liveliest movies of the year -- funny and touching in ways you can't predict."
New York Times - 09/29/2006
"How heavy that crown and how very lightly Helen Mirren wears it as queen. With Mr. Frear's gentle guidance, she delivers a performance remarkable in its art and lack of sentimentalism."
Entertainment Weekly - 10/06/2006
"[An] engrossing and unexpectedly penetrating drama....THE QUEEN pays serious attention to how an ancient monarchy operates in a modern country..."
Premiere - 01/01/2007
Included in Premiere's "10 Best Movies Of The Year" -- "[The film] has as many twists and turns as a great political thriller, and a sly wisdom as well."
Rolling Stone - 12/28/2006 Ranked #7 in Rolling Stone's "The 10 Best Movies Of 2006" -- "[Frears] is devilishly good at springing surprises, political, personal and profound."
Entertainment Weekly - 12/29/2006
Included in Entertainment Weekly's "Top 10 Films Of The Year" -- "Mirren deserves each and every honor bestowed upon her..."
Film Comment - 01/01/2006 Ranked #5 in Film Comment's "20 Best Films Of 2006."
Uncut - 03/01/2007 4 stars out of 5 -- "Rightly acclaimed for Helen Mirren's extraordinarily persuasive lead....This is Stephen Frears' best film yet."
Ultimate DVD - 03/01/2007 5 stars out of 5 -- "In its blend of dramatization and news footage, it presents a cannily authentic view of events."
Helen Mirren delivers a royally stirring performance as Queen Elizabeth II in Stephen Frears's fictional romp, THE QUEEN. The year is 1997, and Great Britain has a newly elected prime minister, the youthful, optimistic Tony Blair (Michael Sheen). In Buckingham Palace, the Queen doesn't appear to be fazed by Blair's arrival. Then again, she doesn't appear to be fazed by anything. But when Diana--her son's ex-wife and the mother of her grandchildren--is killed in a tragic car accident, her authority is tested as never before. While the Queen Mother (Sylvia Syms) and Prince Philip (James Cromwell) agree with her decision to remain at their holiday estate in Balmoral and not publicly acknowledge the tragedy, Tony Blair feels differently. Unfortunately, so do the English people. Making matters worse is the out-of-control media, which has begun to castigate the queen for her silence. In order to retain her grip on the country that she has served for so many years, she must swallow her pride and let the world know that she does, in fact, care.
With THE QUEEN, the consistently superior Frears (DIRTY PRETTY THINGS, DANGEROUS LIAISONS) strikes once again. Peter Morgan's devilishly clever script provides the foundation, but the expert performances are what make the film such an exhilarating ride. What begins as a humorous critique of the stuffy royal family becomes an unexpectedly sympathetic portrait of a woman who carries the weight of a nation on her shoulders.
This film was chosen to be the opening night selection of the 44th New York Film Festival organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
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