Dan's most recent comment on Sunday's with Sue reminded me that I haven't done an Under the Radar posting in a long time. I decided it was time to do one, and the first movie that popped into my head was The Queen. This movie was released in 2006, and I love it! This movie did get quite a bit of attention when it came out, but I'm not sure a lot of people saw it. So I am counting it as an Under the Radar movie. I was just telling Emily about this movie a couple of days ago.
The movie takes place in 1997 right after the death of Princess Diana. The Queen decides the best thing to do for the boys (William and Harry) is take them from Buckingham Palace to another castle in the country so they can go hunting and get some fresh air. She has it in her head the Diana's death is a family affair and should be dealt with privately.
Tony Blair has just been elected Prime Minister and finds himself in the middle of dealing with the grieving public and the Queen who absolutely refuses to make any kind of public statement. As each day passes, the newspaper headlines become more and more scathing towards the Queen. In the end, Tony Blair has to put his foot down and demand that the Queen do something. He doesn't even give her a choice on what to do, he tells her what she must do, which in a Monarchy, just doesn't happen.
It may not sound all that interesting, but it really is. I think what I liked the best about it, is it shows just how out of touch the royal family is from the people. The Queen, the Queen Mum, and Prince Philip are really surprised by the grief people around the world felt, and not only are they surprised, they are kind of disgusted about it. It shows some behind closed doors scenes between the Queen and Prince Philip that are great. Prince Philip is really a jerk and could really care less about the people.
As I understand it, this is a very realistic portrayal of what really happened during the week before Diana's funeral. I remember hearing an interview with the screenwriter and director on Fresh Air. Someone who was very tight with the family at the time, I think it was the Queen's personal assistant or something, helped the screenwriter with the details.
The acting in this movie is great! Helen Mirren plays the Queen, and won the Oscar for it. James Cromwell is Prince Philip, he does a great job. I really like that actor. Another one of those actors you see all the time, but never leading roles. Like Richard Jenkins in the Visitor, he was also in Six Feet Under. He played the mom's second husband who comes down with Alzheimers. And Michael Sheen plays Tony Blair, and does a fantastic job. He looks just like him! If you aren't familiar with his name, he plays David Frost in Frost/Nixon, which comes out today! Can't wait to see it. I also just found out he is going to play Aros in New Moon.
If you've seen The Queen, let me know what you thought of it. If you haven't, you should see it. I've noticed it on cable a couple of times, so you can watch for it there.