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Winning an Oscar, Helen Mirren is sensationally good as The Queen in this brilliant look at the fateful week that Princess Diana died in 1997.

From her first moment on screen, Mirren is astonishingly persuasive, getting the voice, look and body language of Elizabeth II exactly right.

After Diana’s death in Paris, there was no precedent either for the wave of public grief that overtook the nation or for the Royal Family’s somewhat tardy response to it.

As Tony Blair, Michael Sheen is also outstanding and much of the joy of film lies in its meticulous depiction of the clash of personalities between the veteran monarch (Blair was no less than the tenth Prime Minister to serve her) and the new man at Number 10.

Filling out the cast, James Cromwell plays Prince Philip and Sylvia Syms the Queen Mum.

A warm, generous movie, superbly scripted by Peter Morgan, this is funny, witty, clever and, finally, very poignant.