So this past weekend I had the pleasure of seeing THE QUEEN starring the absolutely brilliant actress Helen Mirren. Let me put it out there now that I think Helen should be nominated for an Academy Award. Her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II is so very good. Her performance is one of the most beautiful and powerful ones I’ve seen – ever. The story of THE QUEEN follows the royals through the week following the tragic death of Princess Diana. WATCH THE TRAILER. I have always been fascinated with the whole story of Princess Diana and the details surrounding her untimely death. I think every generation has those moments where they can place exactly where they were when they first learned of a horrible tragedy or a major milestone in history. If you were alive to experience certain events such as the shooting death of JFK, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the horrific events of 9/11 or the attack on Pearl Harbor, many can picture exactly where they were when they heard the news. I remember it was late August and I was camping out with my best friends at my friend Jason’s Mom’s house and we heard the news. I don’t remember exactly who told us but I know that it really freaked us out. We all knew it was a huge event and in the coming days we saw on the news what an impact her death made on the world. I don’t think I grasped, as deeply as I should, the substantial loss that the British people were facing. Seeing this movie and being able to get a feeling for what many of the folks in the country were going through was tremendous. In the movie, focus is placed greatly on the newly elected Prime Minister Tony Blair played by an excellent English actor named Michael Sheen. Without delving to deeply in to the entire plot of the movie, the Royal family is hesitant, if not entirely resistant, in making a public statement on the death of Diana. Politics, Royal tradition and the current relationship between the newly divorced Diana from Prince Charles all lend themselves to reasons why the Royals do not feel the need to address the people. Their delay adds to only further complicate matters and increase the feeling of separateness that the English people feel from the Royal family in their time of mourning and crisis. Tony’s handling of the death of Diana with the British people painted him in a highly sympathetic light adding to his already growing popularity. The Labor Party had just won the 1997 General Election by a landslide, voting Tony in as the youngest Prime Minster at the age of 43. Watching the film, I couldn’t help but think of Rudy Giuliani during the chaos that ensued after September 11th. During the most confusing days directly following the tragedy, it was comforting to have a stoic figure arise with a clear head and positive determination to make it through this tragedy and on to the next chapters in our lives. Tony was very similar in that respect. The movie is so excellent on many levels. The acting is superb, from Helen’s no nonsense delivery to the fine work of James Cromwell as Prince Phillip. I hope that everyone will see this film as soon as possible. It’s one of the true great films of 2006. Witnessing Helen’s acting in this film is an education. You’ll be sorry if you miss it.