Helen Mirren is terrific in The Queen (**** Very Good). We've been waiting for what seems like months for this movie to arrive in Chico. Finally, it is playing at the Pageant, which shows reliably good movies and most of the foreign films shown in Chico.
The movie is one of the NY Times' Critic's Picks, and rightly so. The Queen is about the week following Princess Diana's death. It's as if the Royalty is caught unawares... people all over the world want to publicly mourn Diana's death, but the Royals want to shelter Diana's sons and choose to stay in Scotland hunting stags. I think it's a sad movie.
The Queen, and the rest of the Royals (but Diana's sons are not heard from in the entire movie) think of Diana as an embarrassment and want nothing more than for her death to pass quietly and be done with her. They are unaccustomed to displays of emotion, both privately and publicly.
The newly elected Prime Minister, Tony Blair, is instrumental in guiding the Queen out of her reclusive, private family time in Scotland and into a [cool] public display of mourning in London. It takes him a week to get her back to London, and the movie is about this week.
See it in the theater if you like Scottish scenery :-)