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
A look at the life of Alfred Kinsey, a pioneer in the area of human sexuality research, whose 1948 publication "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" was one of the first recorded works that saw science address sexual behavior.
A drama based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College Texas. In 1935, he inspired students to form the school's first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship.
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
Helen Mirren's performance received a five minute standing ovation at the film's premiere at the Venice Film Festival. See more »
When the Queen walks toward the picnic area and calls to her dogs, four Corgis come running up behind her on the path and race past her. In the next shot, the Queen throws some scraps of food to her dogs and tells them to "stay". The four Corgis are seen sitting together looking back at her, but a fifth one can also be seen behind the Queen standing by Prince Phillip and the grill. 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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