The Queen


1h 43m 2006
The Queen

Brief Synopsis

Queen Elizabeth II struggles with declining popularity in the wake of Princess Diana¿s death.

Film Details

Also Known As
Karalienè, Krá ovna, Královna, Królowa, La Regina, La Reina, Letters From Iwo Jima, Queen, Rainha, A, Regina, Reina
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Family
Biography
Foreign
Release Date
2006
Production Company
Marc Parazon
Distribution Company
MIRAMAX
Location
Scotland, United Kingdom; Paris, France; London, England, United Kingdom

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m

Synopsis

A revealing, witty portrait of the British royal family in crisis immediately following the death of Princess Diana. The setting for this fictional account of real events is no less than the private chambers of the Royal Family and the British government in the wake of the sudden death of Princess Diana in August of 1997. In the immediate aftermath of the Princess's passing, the tightly contained, tradition-bound world of the Queen of England clashes with the slick modernity of the country's brand new, image-conscious Prime Minister, Tony Blair. The result is an intimate, yet thematically epic, battle between private and public, responsibility and emotion, custom and action - as a grieving nation waits to see what its leaders will do.

Crew

Pani Ahmadi-moore

Editor

Tim Alban

Foley

Louie Alexander

Digital Effects

Marcus Alexander

Visual Effects Producer

Annette Allen

Costumes

Pete Anderson

Song Performer

Nigel Ankers

Technical Director

Nigel Ankers

Technical Director

Farid Arahb

Office Runner

Barry Arnold

Props

Marion Audier

Craft Service

Francis Auguy

Stunts

Simon Baker

Steadicam Operator

Peter Bathurst

Loader

David Bayliss

Rigging Electrician

Alfonso Beato

Dp/Cinematographer

Alfonso Beato

Camera Operator

Alfonso Beato

Director Of Photography

Jean-pascal Beintus

Original Music

Perry Bell

Painter

Paul Bennett

Assistant Director

Anna Bertmark

Editor

Bruce Bigg

Property Master

Gwyneth Binyon

Art Department

David Bishop

Stunt Double

Francois Blanquet

Propman

Kathryn Blight

Costumes

Frederic Blochet

Grip

Christian Bonnichon

Stunt Coordinator

William Booker

Assistant Director

Christel Bordon

Assistant Director

Veronique Bosle

Hair Assistant

Jean-luc Boucherot

Driver

Dennis Bovington

Carpenter

Consolata Boyle

Costume Designer

Chris Bradshaw

Wardrobe

Xavier Brasleret

Office Production Assistant

Matthew Broderick

Props

Katie Buckley

Assistant Art Director

Helen Bunker

Digital Effects

Jeremy Burnage

Production Coordinator

Jason Burnett

Film Lab

Andy Burrows

Film Lab

Luke Cairns

Camera Trainee

Sue Calverley

Production Manager

Brandon Campbell

Pilot

Gilles Cappelletto

Driver

Tommy Carlin

Best Boy

Paul Carr

Adr Mixer

Susan Casey

Costumes

Carole Cattrini

Dresser

Graham Chalk

Props

Sebastien Chaplais

Driver

Leigh Chesters

Carpenter

David Chisholm

Props

Sophia Chowdhury

Assistant Set Decorator

Mally Chung

Location Assistant

Wailoon Chung

Electrician

Benoit Cisilkiewick

On-Set Dresser

Wayne Clarke

Driver

Constant Clavier

Driver

Charlie Cobb

Art Department

Andy Cole

Electrician

Matthew Cole

Camera Trainee

Rebecca Cole

Makeup

Marty Conisbee

Caterer

Jonah Coombes

Location Manager

Guy Cope

Rigging Electrician

Gerry Cott

Animal Wrangler

William Coubrough

Art Department

Perrine Coulogner

Location Assistant

Chris Cozens

Music

Stacey Crago

Office Runner

Tim Critchell

Grip

Paul Cronin

Generator Operator

Joss Crowley

Office Runner

Joelle Cugny

Craft Service

Ian Cunningham

Assistant Editor

Adam Curtis

Consultant

Adam Dale

Other

Gerald Dale

Props

Graham Alec Dale

Props

Jeff Darby

Driver

Richard Davey

Sound Re-Recording Mixer

Paul Davies

Editor

Lara Davis

Production Assistant

Leo Davis

Casting

Garry Dawson

Props

Alexandre Desplat

Music Composer

Alexandre Desplat

Music Conductor

Alexandre Desplat

Original Music

Russell Diamond

Grip

Roddy Dolan

Props

Gary Donoghue

Rigging Gaffer

Paul Doogan

Film Lab

James Downard

Driver

Jonathan Downing

Props

Kerry Downing

Visual Effects

Linda Drew

Assistant

Remi Dubus

Driver

Andrew Dudman

Music

Jon Duncan

Production Accountant

Lawrence Duncan

Transportation Captain

Nathan Duncan

Boom Operator

Cathy Dutheil

Other

Tim Earl

Caterer

Giles Edleston

Location Scout

Zoe Edwards

Production Coordinator

Lucy Egerton

Assistant Director

Nigel Egerton

Assistant Costume Designer

Richard Eksteen

Driver

Warren Ewen

Rigging Gaffer

Penny Eyles

Script Supervisor

Samia Fadli

Casting Director

James Fleming

Digital Effects Artist

Michael Fleming

Props

Xavier Forcioli

Music Composer

Elaine Ford

Stunt Double

Olivier Foucher

Carpenter

Ian Fowles

Production

Sebastien Franchault

Grip

Dan Garlick

Grip

Jack Garwood

Props

Charlie Gaynor

Carpenter

Joanne Gibson

Assistant Director

Kerry Gill Pryde

Researcher

Jack Gillies

Editor

Peter Gleaves

Adr Mixer

Martin Goddard

Rigging Electrician

Synnove Godeseth

Location Manager

Joe Godfrey

Film Lab

Josephine Gracia

Dresser

Geoffrey Brian Grant

Plasterer

Richard Graysmark

Assistant Director

Eugene Grobler

Electrician

Martin Guena

Office Runner

Guy Guermouh

Generator Operator

Charlie Habanananda

Software Engineer

Les Hall

Carpenter

Danny Hambrook

Sound Mixer

Alistair Hamer

High Definition Systems Engineer

James Hamilton

Foley Recordist

Mark Hanlon

Best Boy

Claire Hardaker

Costumes

Shane Harford

Props

Andy Harries

Producer

Peter Hasler

Props

Adam Hawkes

Film Lab

Jo Hawthorne

Carpenter

Alain Herpe

Camera Focus Puller

Nicky Higginbotham

Film Lab

Lissy Holm

Casting Assistant

Alistair Hopkins

Post-Production Supervisor

Mark Hopkins

Office Runner

Brian Horsburgh

Location Scout

Toby Hosking

Assistant Director

Phillippe Houdart

Camera Operator

Charles Howell

Visual Effects Producer

Nathan Hughes

Matte Painter

Paul Humbles

Props

July Hygreck

Office Production Assistant

Francois Ivernel

Executive Producer

Gary Ixer

Props

Terry Jarvis

Wig Maker

Vinod Jassal

Location Assistant

Jenna Jones

Assistant

Matthew Jones

Unit Manager

Robert Jones

Props Buyer

Tina Jones

Set Decorator

Jean-francois Juvanon

Construction

Pat Karam

Location Manager

Dean Kennedy

Electrician

Gilles Kenny

Assistant Director

Roy Kirkman

Driver

Izet Kutlovac

Electrician

Gilles Laboulandine

Construction Manager

Henry Landgrebe

Loader

Christine Langan

Producer

Christian Langlois

Camera Trainee

Philippe Lapicque

Key Grip

Adam Laschinger

Boom Operator

Carmine Lauri

Music Conductor

Aaron Lear

Digital Effects

Paul Legall

Camera

Tony Lewis

Music Editor

Antoine Lienhard

Gaffer

Peter Lindsay

Sound Mixer

Abbie Lister

Music Supervisor

Andrew Long

Gaffer

Catrin Long

Costumes

Kevin Lowery

High Definition Systems Engineer

Chas Lyons

Loader

Alan Macdonald

Production Designer

Hilary Macdonald

Costumes

Vince Madden

Electrician

Steve Malin

Production

Adam Marchand

Driver

Keith Marriner

Dialogue Editor

Stephen Marshall

Music Engineer

Josie Martin

Costumes

Film Details

Also Known As
Karalienè, Krá ovna, Královna, Królowa, La Regina, La Reina, Letters From Iwo Jima, Queen, Rainha, A, Regina, Reina
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Family
Biography
Foreign
Release Date
2006
Production Company
Marc Parazon
Distribution Company
MIRAMAX
Location
Scotland, United Kingdom; Paris, France; London, England, United Kingdom

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m

Award Wins

Best Actress

2006
Helen Mirren

Best Actress

2007
Helen Mirren

Award Nominations

Best Costume Design

2006

Best Director

2006
Stephen Frears

Best Original Screenplay

2006

Best Picture

2006

Best Score

2006

Articles

The Queen


When Helen Mirren won the Oscar in 2007 for her starring role in Stephen Frears' resplendent royal drama The Queen, she held the statuette aloft and announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Queen!" But that was just the triumphant kicker of her brief and direct speech. Earlier, she'd paid tribute to Elizabeth II, the stalwart monarch she'd played so effectively in the film: "For 50 years and more," Mirren said, "Elizabeth Windsor has maintained her dignity, her sense of duty, and her hairstyle. She's had her feet planted firmly on the ground, her hat on her head, her handbag on her arm, and she's weathered many, many storms." Mirren's glorious, minutely detailed performance captures all of that noble fastidiousness perfectly, yet also stretches far beyond it: Rather than impersonate the queen -- which would have been all too easy to do -- Mirren reaches deeper to locate the buried, calcified thoughts and feelings that might guide this deeply inscrutable woman.

The Queen is a fictional imagining of what might have happened behind the scenes in the week following Princess Diana's death in a Paris car crash, an accident that occurred as she and her boyfriend, Dodi Al Fayed, were speeding away from paparazzi in hot pursuit on motorbikes. What, exactly, was going through the real Queen Elizabeth's head in refusing, at first, to make any sort of statement about the death of her former-daughter-in-law - a woman whom openly disliked -- even as the people of her country were plunged into mourning? In The Queen, screenwriter Peter Morgan blends facts with speculation: The recently elected Prime Minister Tony Blair - played, with perfect levels of chipmunkish brightness - has a better idea of what's going on among his constituents. He tries to nudge Elizabeth - without risking any disrespect - to appear before her subjects, to show some respect for their grief even if her own feelings must remain under wraps. Mirren's Elizabeth holds firm: She cares about Diana only inasmuch as the erstwhile princess was the mother of her grandchildren. Even her son, Charles (played, superbly, by Alex Jennings), griefstricken over his ex-wife's death, suggests rather pointedly to his mother that the world has changed but she has not. He even makes a not-so-veiled dig at her shortcomings as a mother.

The Queen is so beautifully made, and features such uniformly terrific performances, that you can't help wonder: How true to life could it possibly be? Frears didn't take this enterprise lightly. "If you make films about living people, you always feel a responsibility and you bend over backwards," he told the New York Times in an interview at the time of the film's release. "With the queen you're not only dealing with your responsibility toward her, but everyone in the audience has very strong feelings and knows a lot about her. So you don't do it casually. You have to be fair." In that same article screenwriter Morgan noted that his own mother, approximately the same age as the queen, shared many of her traits, particularly her thriftiness and her refusal to complain. "To do a hatchet job would have felt like matricide," he said.

In researching the screenplay, Morgan culled information from media reports and biographies, and conducted extensive interviews with royal and political insiders. Though he wouldn't reveal the identities of the people he interviewed, the Times noted that "he talked to anyone and everyone, from high-ranking courtiers to lowly stable hands." He also indicated that his sources were only too happy to talk and gossip. "I found the whole time that I had to dampen down the inflammatory nature of what I was being told," he said. "You have no idea how much hosing down and cooling of information we had to do. We were shedding and throwing out sensational information the whole time."

The movie Frears made from Morgan's screenplay is sly, perceptive, and ultimately moving, detailing the ways in which Elizabeth, supposedly a master of control, continues to mishandle events in the aftermath of Diana's death, much to Blair's frustration. She and the other members of the royal family - including Prince Philip (a wonderfully tweeded-up and daft James Cromwell), and the Queen Mother (Sylvia Syms, watching the whole spectacle through eyes that are more amused than disapproving) -- continue with their plans to take their holiday at Balmoral. There, Philip takes the grandchildren out to pursue a regal stag that's been spotted on the estate, while Elizabeth tromps around defiantly in a Barbour and sensible oxfords, as if feeling the earth beneath her feet were the surest way of surveying her kingdom.

But Frears seemed to know that not even royal feelings are that simple: Diana is barely a presence in the picture, but a few judiciously chosen real-life film clips suggest both her charm (very real) and her clever manipulations (also very real). As Frears said in an interview with Slate, "The documentary footage in the film grew, if anything, in the cutting room, because Diana was so vivacious. It is, if you think about it, peculiar, to have a contest in a film between one woman who is an actress and one woman who is herself, and also dead."

But in the public-relations battle between Elizabeth II and her very popular ex-daughter-in-law, The Queen strongly suggests that, over time, it is Elizabeth who will rule the day. Old-fashioned and dutiful, she may believe it's part of her duty to hide the fact that she's human. But despite what Johnny Rotten said in his lacerating 1977 punk anthem "God Save the Queen," Elizabeth II is a human being, and Mirren's performance reflects that beautifully. At one point, she's driven to rare tears, perhaps partly over Diana's death and partly over the situation her former daughter-in-law has thrust her into. Frears and Mirren don't show us those tears, but Mirren tells us everything we need to know, even though all we see is the back of her head. Those silvery curls quiver ever so slightly. We know what Mirren's Elizabeth thinking, even though we can't see her face. That's how you respect the dignity of a monarch, while also allowing her the necessary luxury of complicated human feelings.

SOURCES:

IMDb
The New York Times
Slate

Producer: Andy Harries, Christine Langan, Tracey Seaward
Director: Stephen Frears
Screenplay: Peter Morgan
Cinematography: Affonso Beato
Music: Alexander Desplat
Film Editing: Lucia Zucchetti
Cast: Helen Mirren (The Queen), Michael Sheen (Tony Blair), James Cromwell (Prince Philip), Alex Jennings (Prince Charles), Roger Allam (Robin Janvrin), Sylvia Syms (Queen Mother), Helen McCrory (Cherie Blair)

[color, 103 minutes]
The Queen

The Queen

When Helen Mirren won the Oscar in 2007 for her starring role in Stephen Frears' resplendent royal drama The Queen, she held the statuette aloft and announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Queen!" But that was just the triumphant kicker of her brief and direct speech. Earlier, she'd paid tribute to Elizabeth II, the stalwart monarch she'd played so effectively in the film: "For 50 years and more," Mirren said, "Elizabeth Windsor has maintained her dignity, her sense of duty, and her hairstyle. She's had her feet planted firmly on the ground, her hat on her head, her handbag on her arm, and she's weathered many, many storms." Mirren's glorious, minutely detailed performance captures all of that noble fastidiousness perfectly, yet also stretches far beyond it: Rather than impersonate the queen -- which would have been all too easy to do -- Mirren reaches deeper to locate the buried, calcified thoughts and feelings that might guide this deeply inscrutable woman. The Queen is a fictional imagining of what might have happened behind the scenes in the week following Princess Diana's death in a Paris car crash, an accident that occurred as she and her boyfriend, Dodi Al Fayed, were speeding away from paparazzi in hot pursuit on motorbikes. What, exactly, was going through the real Queen Elizabeth's head in refusing, at first, to make any sort of statement about the death of her former-daughter-in-law - a woman whom openly disliked -- even as the people of her country were plunged into mourning? In The Queen, screenwriter Peter Morgan blends facts with speculation: The recently elected Prime Minister Tony Blair - played, with perfect levels of chipmunkish brightness - has a better idea of what's going on among his constituents. He tries to nudge Elizabeth - without risking any disrespect - to appear before her subjects, to show some respect for their grief even if her own feelings must remain under wraps. Mirren's Elizabeth holds firm: She cares about Diana only inasmuch as the erstwhile princess was the mother of her grandchildren. Even her son, Charles (played, superbly, by Alex Jennings), griefstricken over his ex-wife's death, suggests rather pointedly to his mother that the world has changed but she has not. He even makes a not-so-veiled dig at her shortcomings as a mother. The Queen is so beautifully made, and features such uniformly terrific performances, that you can't help wonder: How true to life could it possibly be? Frears didn't take this enterprise lightly. "If you make films about living people, you always feel a responsibility and you bend over backwards," he told the New York Times in an interview at the time of the film's release. "With the queen you're not only dealing with your responsibility toward her, but everyone in the audience has very strong feelings and knows a lot about her. So you don't do it casually. You have to be fair." In that same article screenwriter Morgan noted that his own mother, approximately the same age as the queen, shared many of her traits, particularly her thriftiness and her refusal to complain. "To do a hatchet job would have felt like matricide," he said. In researching the screenplay, Morgan culled information from media reports and biographies, and conducted extensive interviews with royal and political insiders. Though he wouldn't reveal the identities of the people he interviewed, the Times noted that "he talked to anyone and everyone, from high-ranking courtiers to lowly stable hands." He also indicated that his sources were only too happy to talk and gossip. "I found the whole time that I had to dampen down the inflammatory nature of what I was being told," he said. "You have no idea how much hosing down and cooling of information we had to do. We were shedding and throwing out sensational information the whole time." The movie Frears made from Morgan's screenplay is sly, perceptive, and ultimately moving, detailing the ways in which Elizabeth, supposedly a master of control, continues to mishandle events in the aftermath of Diana's death, much to Blair's frustration. She and the other members of the royal family - including Prince Philip (a wonderfully tweeded-up and daft James Cromwell), and the Queen Mother (Sylvia Syms, watching the whole spectacle through eyes that are more amused than disapproving) -- continue with their plans to take their holiday at Balmoral. There, Philip takes the grandchildren out to pursue a regal stag that's been spotted on the estate, while Elizabeth tromps around defiantly in a Barbour and sensible oxfords, as if feeling the earth beneath her feet were the surest way of surveying her kingdom. But Frears seemed to know that not even royal feelings are that simple: Diana is barely a presence in the picture, but a few judiciously chosen real-life film clips suggest both her charm (very real) and her clever manipulations (also very real). As Frears said in an interview with Slate, "The documentary footage in the film grew, if anything, in the cutting room, because Diana was so vivacious. It is, if you think about it, peculiar, to have a contest in a film between one woman who is an actress and one woman who is herself, and also dead." But in the public-relations battle between Elizabeth II and her very popular ex-daughter-in-law, The Queen strongly suggests that, over time, it is Elizabeth who will rule the day. Old-fashioned and dutiful, she may believe it's part of her duty to hide the fact that she's human. But despite what Johnny Rotten said in his lacerating 1977 punk anthem "God Save the Queen," Elizabeth II is a human being, and Mirren's performance reflects that beautifully. At one point, she's driven to rare tears, perhaps partly over Diana's death and partly over the situation her former daughter-in-law has thrust her into. Frears and Mirren don't show us those tears, but Mirren tells us everything we need to know, even though all we see is the back of her head. Those silvery curls quiver ever so slightly. We know what Mirren's Elizabeth thinking, even though we can't see her face. That's how you respect the dignity of a monarch, while also allowing her the necessary luxury of complicated human feelings. SOURCES: IMDb The New York Times Slate Producer: Andy Harries, Christine Langan, Tracey Seaward Director: Stephen Frears Screenplay: Peter Morgan Cinematography: Affonso Beato Music: Alexander Desplat Film Editing: Lucia Zucchetti Cast: Helen Mirren (The Queen), Michael Sheen (Tony Blair), James Cromwell (Prince Philip), Alex Jennings (Prince Charles), Roger Allam (Robin Janvrin), Sylvia Syms (Queen Mother), Helen McCrory (Cherie Blair) [color, 103 minutes]

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Co-winner of the Audience Choice Award at the 2006 Chicago International Film Festival.

Winner of four 2006 awards including Best Actress (Helen Mirren), Best Supporting Actor (Michael Sheen), Best Screenplay and Best Music Score of the Year by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA).

Winner of four 2006 awards including Best Screenplay of the Year, Best British Director of the Year, Best British Actress of the Year (Helen Mirren) and the Attenborough Award by the London Critics' Circle.

Winner of the 2006 award for Best Actress (Helen Mirren) by the Boston Society of Film Critics (BSFC).

Winner of the 2006 award for Best Actress (Helen Mirren) by the National Board of Review (NBR).

Winner of the 2006 award for Best Actress (Helen Mirren) by the San Francisco Film Critics Circle (SFFCC).

Winner of the 2006 award for Best Actress (Helen Mirren) by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).

Winner of the 2006 award for Best Actress (Helen Mirren) by the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA).

Winner of the 2006 award for Excellence in Contemporary Film by the Costume Designers Guild (CDG).

Winner of the Coppa Volpi for Best Female Actor (Helen Mirren) and the Osella for Best Screenplay awards at the 2006 Venice International Film Festival.

Winner of two 2006 awards including Best Actress (Helen Mirren) and Best Screenplay by the National Society of Film Critics (NSFC).

Winner of two 2006 awards including Best Actress (Helen Mirren) and Best Screenplay by the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC).

Winner of two 2006 awards including Best Film and Best Actress (Helen Mirren) by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

Winner of two 2006 awards including Best Original Screenplay and Best Actress (Helen Mirren) by the Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA).

Winner of two 2006 Satellite Awards including Best Actress - Drama (Helen Mirren) and Best Original Screenplay by the International Press Academy (IPA).

Released in United States Fall September 30, 2006

Limited Release in United States October 6, 2006

Expanded Release in United States October 13, 2006

Released in United States on Video April 24, 2007

Released in United States 2006

Released in United States October 2006

Shown at New York Film Festival (Opening Night) September 29-October 15, 2006.

Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival (Galas) September 28-October 13, 2006.

Shown at Venice International Film Festival (Competition) August 30-September 9, 2006.

Shown at Chicago International Film Festival October 5-19, 2006.

Project was included on the 2005 Black List.

Released in United States Fall September 30, 2006 (NY)

Limited Release in United States October 6, 2006

Expanded Release in United States October 13, 2006

Released in United States on Video April 24, 2007

Released in United States 2006 (Shown at New York Film Festival (Opening Night) September 29-October 15, 2006.)

Released in United States 2006 (Shown at Vancouver International Film Festival (Galas) September 28-October 13, 2006.)

Co-winner of the 2006 award for Best Director and winner of four 2006 awards including Best Picture, Best Actress (Helen Mirren), Best Supporting Actor (Michael Sheen) and Best Screenplay by the Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA).

Released in United States 2006 (Shown at Venice International Film Festival (Competition) August 30-September 9, 2006.)

Released in United States October 2006 (Shown at Chicago International Film Festival October 5-19, 2006. )