A Portrait In Parts movie review

Elizabeth: A Portrait In Parts compares the Queen's smile to that of the Mona Lisa.

Elizabeth: A Portrait In Parts compares the Queen’s smile to that of the Mona Lisa.Credit:

As time went on, the face grew closer and closer to the indescribable face on a banknote, until finally a degree of spontaneity seemed to return in a new form: the greedy look of a retiree wanting the last piece of cake.

What a life: seven decades of empty words, miraculously transforming everyone you meet into some species of bachelor, stretching your arms in those eternal waves.

We could envy or pity her, but the truth is none of us knows what it means to be Queen, not even her relatives (most are marginalized here, though the main trailer sums up the last few decades of soap operas, of Charles contemplating nature’s love for Andrew confessing no sweating).

How far is this film about a person, not an image – and can anyone tell the difference? (You must excuse me: the habit of “one” is in vogue.) Images are part of the furniture of everyone’s mind: as luxurious as they come, but also as simple as a cup of tea, sitting comfortably in the mental landscape of Women’s Week kitsch covers and memorabilia.

And about real women? The film cleverly plays on our indecision, comparing her smile to that of the Mona Lisa – and presenting a wide variety of film clips and pop songs as counterpoints, from Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra to Gracie Fields’ wartime short song about a factory worker who may not know what his intentions are. his job but still believes that he is a vital cog in the machine.

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The irony of all of this is almost incomprehensible on its own (and very English). But while Elizabeth not a royalist channel or vice versa, in the end it’s hard to see the film as anything other than an expression of fandom, in other words love.

This appears especially in the montage of the Queen on horseback, from youth to age, which allows us to imagine we are witnessing some kind of escape: not from the camera, of course, but from some restrictions of the royal role.

It occurred to me here that Michell, who must have known his Hitchcock, had missed a golden opportunity to join Tippi Hedren’s clip as the title character in Marnie, an enigmatic thief on his way to freedom. But one can dream.

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