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Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Queen

So, another rainy afternoon and another chance to see a movie. This time I opted for The Queen. It's essentially all about what went on behind the scenes at Balmoral Castle and the Blair household during the week of Princess Diana's death in 1997. This could so easily have just been a gossipy, tabloid-y thing. But - no. What a superb, perfect movie! The director wisely assumes that we already know what happened and has made a film that is really a psychological study of characters whom we all think we know well and may have preconceived or negative opinions about. We can, ultimately, understand and even sympathize with each of them. Extrapolate a bit, and we have a fine lesson in human relations.

I'm no professional film reviewer, but can comment on a few little things I appreciated. Always a sucker for interior detail, I adored the glimpses of the Balmoral kitchen and the jigsaw puzzle in the drawing room. Love the dead stag scene, the nose-blowing on the Hermes scarf, and the Range Rover breakdown (and the reminder that the Queen, then a young princess, had been a trained as a mechanic during WWII).

I was eleven when King George VI, the Queen's father, died suddenly in 1952. And I was reminded of the project that my cousin Nancy (visiting Bloomington from Texas that summer) and I undertook, which was to make her some handmade monogrammed stationery - something we thought a brand new Queen would be needing. We spent quite a bit of time on it, wrapped it carefully, and mailed it off to Buckingham Palace. Unless memory deceives, we actually received a thank-you note from a lady in-waiting (whom I pictured in medieval garb, as seen in some fairy tale book). I do remember our wondering whether, if she were to thank us, she would use our stationery, or some other kind. Those were simpler times, and the royals were objects of envy and respect, not ridicule. This movie helps put things into perspective.


Blogger SuperMom said...

Off to add this one to MY library cue!

5:45 PM  

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