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Thursday May 3, 2007 5:36 am

The Queen DVD Review

Queen posterWhen Diana, Princess of Wales, dies in a tragic car accident in Paris, the Royal Family is forced to decide between tradition and moral obligation in this quiet, conversational drama.  Recently elected Tony Blair is insistent upon public statements from Queen Elizabeth II, as well as a public funeral for the beloved princess, but royal custom mixed with feelings of distaste and apprehension only drag the issue into weeks of stagnation.  As the British people begin to react to the Royal Family’s seeming indifference, The Queen struggles internally with how to handle the situation, while being forced to retain a strong, unaffected composure.

The Queen is written by Peter Morgan, directed by Stephen Frears, and stars Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, and James Cromwell.  Rated PG–13.  The film received a slew of nominations and awards – most notably an Oscar, Golden Globe, and BAFTA for Helen Mirren’s eerily perfect performance.  Be sure to check out FilmCrunch’s The Queen Video Review.

The features on the DVD tend to follow the film into quiet and conversational territory:

  • English and Spanish Subtitles
  • English and Spanish Audio Tracks
  • Commentary by Writer Peter Morgan and Director Stephen Frears
  • Commentary by British Historian and Royal Expert Robert Lacey
  • The Making of The Queen
  • Trailers

Although the in-depth commentary from Robert Lacey is an unique tack-on – the like of which you aren’t going to see on any other DVD – the features are a bit disappointing considering the buzz surrounding this film.  Even the making-of segment is basic, consisting mostly of interviews without much behind-the-scenes footage.  This isn’t to say that hearing the actors discuss their methods and inspiration is boring in any way – least of all the modest ramblings of a disheveled Stephen Frears – but even an contemplative movie like The Queen can give the home audience a little more.  Let’s hope for a special edition sometime in the near future.

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