Yesterday the death of the queen of England, Elizabeth Alejandra María, or Elizabeth II, was announced. The monarch of the United Kingdom is leaving at the age of 96 and after 70 years in office (I would say imagine working that long, but you know), leaving an indelible mark on the country’s historyincluding its film culture.
In circumstances like this, the basic thing to want to see some fiction around his figure would be to resort to ‘The Crown‘ on netflix. But you are still looking for something less neat and that aspires to something more complex. It’s difficult, I’m telling you, but at least we have three streaming movies that have tried to show such a great figure on the screen ambitiously. At least, it will take you less time to watch them than the series.
‘The Queen’ (‘The Queen’, 2006)
Address: Stephen Frears. Distribution: Helen Mirren, James Cromwell, Michael Sheen, Alex Jennings, Sylvia Syms.
And we’ve talked about ‘The Crown’, created by the great on-screen narrator of the monarch’s history, Peter Morgan. Before the series, he wrote the script on this Stephen Frears movie that follows the immediate beats after the death of Diana of Walesfollowing both the reaction of the queen and Minister Tony Blair, respectively played by Helen Mirren and Michael Sheen.
The film achieves a fascinating balance between hagiography and irony well thrown that exposes some less friendly aspects of the monarchy. Mirren also does a job to remember.
‘The King’s Speech’ (‘The King’s Speech’, 2010)
Address: Tom Hopper. Distribution: Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Michael Gambon, Guy Pearce.
For gentle portraits there is the Tom Hooper film, which makes a film of classic good intentions, smoothed out rough edges and with a formula to please the public (albeit with strange visual decisions). Elizabeth II has a secondary role here, although the work of Helena Bonham Carter ensures that she does not remain a mere background detail in the story of the relationship between King George VI and his speech therapist.
Address: Pablo Larrain. Distribution: Kristen Stewart, Jack Farthing, Timothy Spall, Sally Hawkins, Sean Harris.
Here again the center is taken by another real figure, that of Diana of Wales through the capital interpretation of Kristen Stewart. But it is her point of view that offers us a better portrait of the archaic monarchical institutionand also of its maximum, imposing and terrifying representative without almost saying a word.
Details that mark how well plotted this almost ghost story by Pablo Larraín is, which he takes advantage of to study a complex and inaccessible character. A lavish exercise beyond a Stewart who, again, is phenomenal.