The Queen (2006)
A disappointingly literal imagining of the conversations between Elizabeth II and the then-recently elected Tony Blair in the aftermath of Princess Diana's death. The intention is to strip the royal family off their regalia and zoom in on their underlying average-ness - they gather around the TV at night and wear frumpy pyjamas together. Unfortunately, in the world of scriptwriter Peter Morgan, average people like Blair, his missus and Her Majesty communicate in lazy exposition.
"Why are you so nervous, darling? You've met her before, haven't you?" "Well, yes, but she is, you know - The Queen." Cue double take.
There is no subtext to the dialogue - which may very well be a blessing since Morgan's idea of subtext in terms of narrative is having Princess Diana symbolically reincarnate into a deer who gets decapitated.
The actors however, know how to mix dignity with absurdity. And Helen Mirren communicates the Queen's devastation at discovering her disconnect from her people through subtle gestures and inflections where Morgan's writing fails to.
dir: Stephen Frears
wr: Peter Morgan
cast: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell, Sylvia Syms, Alex Jennings, Helen McCrory, Roger Allam, Paul Barrett