Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Queen

There is any number of reasons why this ambitions BBC series shouldn’t work. It’s tough enough to blend archival footage and modern recreations without looking silly, but when you are using footage of the British Royal Family and trying to weave it into footage featuring five different actresses playing the same role in different phases of her life, then the challenges seem insurmountable. Somehow, though, it all works. The archival footage is fascinating to see, but it’s the way the actors bring the more intimate moments of the Royals’ personal lives alive that gives the series its soul. Each of the actresses who play Elizabeth II in the series does a fantastic job. They do so well, in fact, that you can only marvel at the different nuances they bring to the character in each of the episodes they star in. You just get the feeling you are watching the same woman in a different stage of her life, and that’s a tremendous achievement.

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