“Like any good celebrity today, Diana perfected the illusion of accessibility, exuding the common touch although she was anything but. The tension between her new, and Queen Elizabeth II’s old, brand of royal image-making is at the heart of Stephen FrearsThe Queen, as the out-of-touch queen (Helen Mirren) grapples with the public and media clamor for some hint of feeling from the palace in response to the princess’s death.
“Afterward, Elizabeth bitterly realizes: ‘I’ve never been hated like that before. Nowadays people want glamour and tears, the grand performance.’
“What Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) tries to persuade her to embrace, what Blair and Diana so viscerally understood, was the need for an emotional performance in a touchy-feely media age. Ms. Mirren makes Elizabeth immensely moving in her quaint belief that her subjects want stoic reserve and dignity from their monarch. But Diana was Oprah and Blair her Dr. Phil; no contest.” — Caryn James in today’s (10.11.06) N.Y. Times — “Royal P.R.: People’s Princess Obliterates the Stiff Upper Lip”