Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Queen

Newsflash on my never-ending cinema visits: last night I saw The Queen. Despite the reviews, I had been sceptical because really, it wasn't very long ago, and I paid plenty of attention first time round (it was hard not to). However, much flimsier commendations would still have been pretext enough for ditching Ovid, and it was, as everyone knows by now, excellent. Much more suprising, I found several parts of it very moving and even shed a tear, which cannot be said of my 16-year-old self watching it unfold at the time. I was entirely dispassionate: my abiding memory of the day she died was that I'd just got a kitten (yay!). My abiding memory of the day of her funeral is that I was up late in the loft apartment of my brother's flat, trying, and managing, to cop off with his best mate (sorry about that). The only emotion I can recall summoning up was a faint sense of distaste for the all the undignified howling over the death of a woman these people had never met, and a vague feeling that the Queen was behaving oddly. Well done to the film makers, then, for the fact that I found the funeral stuff genuinely very sad, and also felt overwhelming sympathy for the Queen. And didn't Blair's government look like twits? I must say that I heartily enjoyed that aspect of it too. My only regret was that Blair himself wasn't made to look even stupider, but luckily he's achieved that amply without the help of filmmakers.
I fear that this all goes to show that I am getting old: the senile lability, the establishment sympathies, the disdain for the anti-royalism of my youth. I can of course see that they did a very deliberate job of making the royals dignified and wise and timeless and the New Labourites petty and irrational and uncharitable, and to that extent the thing was highly manipulative. I admit I bought it though: at least for the duration of the film, and very possibly beyond. Did you?
PS Honourable mention to the stunning Aberdeenshire countryside which stole the show and made me feel even more patriotic than homesick. Go Deeside!


Blogger Jenny said...

You took the words out of my mouth... I actually went to see The Queen in a cinema in northern Athens with 2 English friends and.... no-one else in the cinema at all. So I spent most of it going ''ooh! that's where I used to live!''; ''ooh! I've been on that bridge!'', ''No really, I did live there!'' (anyone who knows me will not be surprised at this element of repetition). I, also, felt very detached from the whole shebang at the time - I remember being woken up at 6 am by my Mum cos my best friend had called the house to tell me. My instant reaction was ''so who killed her?''. And then I didn't understand the outpouring of public grief *at all*. All this identification from the downtrodden women of the land went over my head; I watched the funeral in an airport lounge on route to Italy for holiday. So I too was surprised by how touching the film was and how much more I felt this time round. Which just goes to show that 16 year old girls from Aberdeen are a bit out of touch : )
love, J xx

8:34 am  
Blogger Jenny said...

can you send your new email to my hotmail account pls? J x

1:20 pm  
Anonymous Marcus said...

Funnily enough my abiding memory of her death is that our cat died that night too, and I was very concerned that people would think my upset was for her, rather than the cat...

5:45 pm  

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