Christine Langan

Christine Langan

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The Deal (2003) Review


Good
Relentlessly promoted as "The prequel to The Queen" on the DVD cover, this 2003 British TV production is seeing a curious reissue in order to capitalize on The Queen's Oscar attention last year, which saw Helen Mirren win a Best Actress Oscar and the film earn a Best Picture nomination.

The Deal is a prequel to The Queen only in the sense that it involves historical details that occurred before those in The Queen. It also involves the same writer, director, and star Michael Sheen, who also plays Tony Blair in this film. The movie involves succession to the position of British Prime Minister in the late 1990s, which found young guns Tony Blair and Gordon Brown both riding high in the liberal Labour Party, rapidly becoming the most popular party in the country and one which delivered a crushing defeat to the Conservative Party in the 1997 elections.

Continue reading: The Deal (2003) Review

The Queen Review


Excellent
In a year already riddled with modern benchmarks in U.S. history, Stephen Frears now enters the deal with a reenactment of a worldwide tragedy: the death of Princess Diana and the subsequent rupture in public faith in the Royal Family. It's a tricky proposition: where most portraits of the Queen and her brood are either overly-stiff (for comedy's sake) or drab-as-death (for drama), Frears tries to show the family as no-bull normal people with dabs of sarcasm, sass and humor that could rub viewers the wrong way.

It begins with the landslide election of Prime Minister Tony Blair (a shockingly good Michael Sheen) and moves to the car accident that led to Di's death. Frears then meditates on the decisions and the struggle between modernism and tradition that Queen Elizabeth (Helen Mirren) and her family must consider in the wake of not just a familial, but worldwide, day of mourning. For those who don't remember, after the death, there was major pressure for the family to mourn in public, to show their grief and prove that even though Di wasn't part of the family anymore, they were still in a state of solemnity.

Continue reading: The Queen Review

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Christine Langan Movies

The Queen Movie Review

The Queen Movie Review

In a year already riddled with modern benchmarks in U.S. history, Stephen Frears now enters...

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