Helen Mirren reigns supreme at Venice

Helen Mirren has won best actress at the Venice Film Festival. The 61-year-old British performer played the current Queen – Elizabeth II – in ‘The Queen’ – a controversial film about the reaction of the Royals to Princess Diana’s death.

The movie itself was also awarded best screenplay at the prestigious festival. Introduced at the awards ceremony as “Her Majesty Helen Mirren”, the actress commented: “It’s always terrifying seeing your movie take its first steps, but its an incredible honour for our film to take them at the Venice Film Festival.”

Getting awards for playing royal queens is becoming something of a speciality for Helen Mirren.  The Venice award comes only shortly after Mirren won an Emmy award for her role as the first Queen Elizabeth in the Channel 4 mini-series.

The actress is already being tipped for an Oscar nomination for her role in ‘The Queen’ based on what has been described as a beautifully nuanced performance.

“Helen Mirren is superb in finding those telling moments where the royal mask drops to reveal the flesh-and-blood woman.”
Film Critic Hollywood Reporter

Variety magazine said Helen Mirren’s performance “starts off as simply an uncanny lookalike job, with the cut-glass accent down to tee, and then gradually takes on layers of texture”.

Well versed in celebrity appearances, Mirren managed to look superb throughout the many public functions and photo shoots and was rewarded after the first showing of the film with a five minute ovation from the critics and audience.

At an age when many actresses have dispaired of finding great screen roles Helen Mirren demonstrates yet again the power and intelligence that maturity can bring to character interpretations.

For the final award ceremony Mirren chose to tread the red carpet in a gorgeous midnight blue gown by her favorite British designers, Eavis and Brown.  Twirling elegantly in front of the massed cameras, she declared that she had spent too long in tweeds for the film and wanted something as far away as possible from the straight laced royal style.

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