An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.
Richard E. Grant
In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Clifton Collins Jr.,
The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.
Diana the 'People's Princess' has died in a car accident in Paris. The Queen and her family decide that for the best, they should remain hidden behind the closed doors of Balmoral Castle. The heartbroken public do not understand and request that the Queen comforts her people. This also puts pressure on newly elected Tony Blair, who constantly tries to convince the monarchy to address the public. Written by
One of the biggest single costs of the film was using a helicopter to fly over the stalking party to get a view of the Scottish countryside. Director Stephen Frears was in the helicopter to get the shot, and was sick with the flu at the time. Regardless, he thought it was worth it to obtain such gorgeous scenery for the film. See more »
When Tony Blair is talking to the Lord Chamberlain you can clearly see a blue MG ZT through the rear window - this model did not appear until 2001. See more »
After weeks of campaigning on the road, Tony Blair and his family finally strolled the few hundred yards to the polling station this election day morning. Amongst the Labour faithful up and down the country, there is an enormous sense of pride in Mr. Blair's achievements, and the confidence that he is about to become the youngest prime minister this century.
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I saw this film on September 25th, 2006 in Indianapolis. I am one of the judges for the Heartland Film Festival's Truly Moving Picture Award. A Truly Moving Picture " explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life." Heartland gave that award to this film.
Normally I am careful not to give away the ending of a movie in a comment. In this case, the story and the ending are already known. In 1997, Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris trying to escape from the paparazzi. This was about a year after her divorce with Prince Charles. Great Britain and the world mourned her loss in a surprisingly large way. It was as if Princess Diana was an assassinated world political or spiritual leader.
The royal family did not initially react to her death in a human or sensitive way. They alternately said it was a private affair or Princess Diana was no longer royalty since the divorce or we are protecting Princess Diana's two sons or let us grieve alone. But, they were coming off as cold and standoffish to the English people and they were causing the monarchy system to become unpopular and even despised. In steps the new young Prime Minister, Tony Blair, influences Queen Elizabeth II to mourn in public and bring a humanity to the English monarchy.
The real story is the journey of Tony Blair and Queen Elizabeth II to get to this final destination.
It is hard to separate what is fact and what is made-up in this film. Many facts are certain because you see historical footage of the bunches of cut flowers growing in front of Buckingham Palace and the then President Clinton making a statement and many clips of Princess Diane throughout her life. But the many behind-the-scenes conversations had to be invented or recalled, so it has to be part fiction and part fact.
The monarchy is not treated kindly in this film. Prince Philip comes off as insensitive and a bearer of grudges. Prince Charles appears to be weak. Queen Elizabeth II, played brilliantly by Helen Mirren, comes off as reserved and complicated. And Tony Blair, played convincingly by Michael Sheen, trumps the royalty by being real and wise and likable.
The storytelling is compelling. Even though you know what will happen, you are intrigued by how the characters get to their ultimate positions.
In the end, Queen Elizabeth II and Tony Blair display a profound love for their country. It is really a story about public dignitaries trying to do the right thing for their country and their families.
FYI There is a Truly Moving Pictures web site where you can find a listing of past Crystal Heart Award winners as well as other Truly Moving Picture Award winners that are now either at the theater or available on video.
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