Her Majesty

Rated PG 2004

Mixing the down-under period charm of The Dish with preteen sweetness and some lightly rendered but significant social issues, Her Majesty provides an enjoyable family viewing experience. It's 1953 New Zealand, and Queen Elizabeth II is journeying 12,000 miles for an unprecedented visit. A preteen girl named Elizabeth (Sally Andrews) obsesses over the new queen and yearns to meet -- even become -- her idol. She sends a constant stream of fan mail until her daydreams suddenly swim into close-up --however, there's a local Maori woman (Vicky Haughton, Whale Rider) whose presence violently disturbs the white colonialists and young Elizabeth's family. Carefully interwoven subplots include themes of overt racism, petty white class issues, and struggles for identity. Written and directed by American Mark J. Gordon and lensed by Stephen Katz (The Blues Brothers), this is a girlish fantasy wrought by grown men, and it somehow works. Credit the tight script and the enthusiastic cast interpreting it; while their characterizations sometimes skirt schmaltz, one nonetheless emerges with a strong sense of global community.

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Her Majesty

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