In Stephen Frears’s new movie, “The Queen,” Elizabeth II is shown driving a Range Rover at her family’s remote Scottish retreat, trapped in an unpleasant conversation with her eldest son, Prince Charles.Imagine Queen Elizabeth demanding that the movie be yanked -- britted? -- the way Clinton did about "The Path to 9/11."
The subject is Diana, Princess of Wales, whose death that week has sent Britain into a convulsion of collective grief (not shared by the royal family). When an emotionally confused Charles begins to babble about what a good mother Diana was — physically affectionate, full of love — it is clear what he is really saying: “You never hugged me as a child.”
That’s it for him. Abruptly the queen gets out of the car and opens the back door, liberating a passel of eager dogs. Her voice lifts. “Walkies!” she trills.
The situation is of course imagined, the pair played by actors (Helen Mirren as the queen, Alex Jennings as Charles), the dialogue wholly made up and the filmmaker’s undertaking a daring one.
September 24, 2006
Two weeks ago we were talking -- and talking -- about whether it was wrong for filmmakers -- in "The Path to 9/11" -- to make up scenes and dialogue depicting real public figures engaged in historical events. Here's another example of that sort of thing: