If Judi Dench can win an Oscar for a six-minute performance as Queen Elizabeth I, surely the Academy will see fit to award Helen Mirren with the top acting award for her outstanding 97 minute performance as QEII. Especially when you consider Mirren’s portrayal of the other Queen Elizabeth earlier this year, also to rave reviews, in the HBO miniseries Elizabeth I.
So convincing is she as QEII, that I was immediately drawn in and quickly forgot I was watching Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth. The fiction-based-on-fact drama surrounding the royal family’s private vs. public display of grief in the week following Diana’s death was surprisingly interesting, as interpreted by screenwriter Peter Morgan and director Stephen Frears, interspersed with a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into life in the royal residences. A very solid film. [***** out of 5]