I had seen the previews while it was in the theaters which focused on Hellen Mirren's portrayal. I wasn't expecting how prominent Tony Blair was in the story. Coming as it does with his departure from office I found that rather interesting.
The focus of the movie was to me the royal families lack of response to Diana's passing kind of summed up in a comment by the Queen's sister that "Diana was proving just as irritating in death as she was in life."
Curiously absent from the movie was any mention of Andrew (randy Andie) and Sarah Fergusson (Fergie). There was just the one scene where Elizabeth watches Charles telling the two boys about their mother's death, other than that the boys aren't in the movie, except than Prince Phillip taking them out hunting so they can get fresh air.
There is the one scene where Blair is recommending Elizabeth return to Buckingham Palace and make a statement. She vehemently informs him that their grief will be private and not for public consumption. Another powerful scene was when Blair's staff is mocking the royal family and Blair explodes defending the Queen taking everyone by surprise. At the end while Elizabeth and Blair are analyzing what happened she mentions that the "people" will turn on him one day just as they had on her.
This was one of those movies where Grinnygranny and I stop it and talk about it. Here's the points we discussed and concluded.
- It was mentioned at the beginning that there were two Diana's the one the Royal family knew and the one the public created.
- They knew the real Diana -- the person and she refused to fit into the mold they made for her. After all she was supposed to be a brood mare -- infusing new blood into a hopeless incestuously polluted bloodline. She was to stay barefoot and pregnant. To her credit Diana revolted at this finding causes to support lending her fame and popularity to others.
- To the public she was the most intensely scrutinized woman since Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Every movement scrutinized, analyzed and photographed. She was what women dreamed of -- meeting and marrying a Prince who was supposed to live happily ever after. To a certain extend a bridge between the common people from all over the world, not just Britain. The grief was so personal to the public because with her death the bridge disappeared. That more than anything is what they mourned.
- So much of the royal family's concern was about protocol. The film did show how that their obsession with history and protocol has them so out of touch with reality and this event was a bit of a crash landing. Most poignant was the scene where they walked and looked at the flowers. I remember watching on T.V. when this happened, but was unaware of what she saw. The messages written on them must have cut Her Majesty to the quick. She talked with Blair about the damage done to the Monarchy and how her speech saved it. To a certain extent you do see how institutionalized their lives have been since birth. Truly a golden cage. It was this cage Diana revolted against and I can see her two sons facing the same problem as their father in trying to find a woman willing to enter such a huge public zoo with their lives open for public consumption. No wonder Elizabeth fought so hard to grieve in private.
- Whoever they chose as Charles was horribly miscast. The Queen Mum to a certain extent steals the show, and James Cromwell was excellent as Prince Phillip.