I saw The Queen (directed by Peter Frears) last week. I thought I'd share my thoughts about the movie. (Some modest spoilers are included in this review)
Firstly, I must say that I genuinely enjoyed this movie. It was well written, and well acted.
I was a little concerned that it would turn into an anti-monarchist movie, but I do not think it was.
It starts out with the election of the young Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair. He is portrayed as a young and dashing politician, largely unfamiliar with his own country's protocols when dealing with the monarch. He wants to present himself as "the great modernizer," bringing "a breath of fresh air into old institutions." He comes across as a bit of an anti-monarchist. His wife, Cherie Blair, certainly appears to be anti-monarchist, speaking of the Queen "up there on her 40,000 acres" and not paying taxes on her immense income.
When the former Princess of Wales, Diana, dies in a Paris car accident, the royal family is plunged into a crisis it is ill prepared to face. The populace, along with the Prime Minister, wants the Queen to buck tradition to show respect for Diana, while the royal family (with the exception of Charles) wants to hold steady to royal tradition. This crisis ends with a showdown between Blair and Elizabeth, whereby Blair all but demands the Queen give in.
I enjoyed watching the transformation of Blair as "the great modernizer" to a man who comes to support the Queen, even getting into a shouting match with a member of his own staff over Diana, a woman "who threw everything that family gave to her in their faces" (a bit of a paraphrase from memory).
Perhaps the most endearing aspect of the movie is that it shows Elizabeth as a human being, a woman who by her very nature is unused to public displays of emotion, and a part of an institution that by its very nature is slow to change in a culture that demands it. She is a woman whose greatest desire is to serve her people and God to the best of her abilities. A woman who is the Sovereign of a nation, yet overshadowed by her son's ex-wife.
I heartily recommend this movie to all monarchists.