Let me preface this review with the statement that I have little to no interest in the British monarchy. Oh, I do find the institution to be somewhat intriguing from a historical standpoint, but I have no real interest in the actual individuals as celebrities. Despite that, I found this movie to be quite compelling. To begin with, the acting was simply flawless across the board--Helen Mirren definitely deserves all the attention she's been getting this year on the awards circuit. The film documents the reactions of the Royal Family in the aftermath of Princess Diana's death and I would imagine that people who are interested in the royals will find that aspect of it fascinating. For me, though, it wasn't so much the action of the film that drew me in as what it revealed about the characters. We're presented with a portrait of people who are so isolated by privilege, so wrapped in layers of protocol and ceremony, that they are almost completely unable to relate to the ordinary people they supposedly symbolize. It actually left me feeling kind of sorry for them--it seems like a lonely life. A film that takes a subject I don't care anything about and manages to draw me in like that, well, that's a film I can recommend.
Viewed: 2/2/2007 | Released: 10/5/2006 | Score: A