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The Crown

Discussion in 'TV + Film' started by PopJudge, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. The Fagan episode is brilliant but also the most fictitious. Unfortunately the scene between Fagan and the Queen is based on an urban myth. In reality she woke up, saw him and ran like hell.
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  2. It made a great scene, but it did contribute to some characterization issues with Elizabeth this season. Goes out of her way to offer her hand to a stranger who broke into her bedroom, but can't reciprocate a hug to a crying Diana? Pfft.

    They didn't seem to know what to do with Elizabeth and whether they wanted a warm character to contrast with Thatcher, or a cold character to contrast with Diana, so they decided to just flip flop wildly between both depending on who she's with.
  3. I felt there was something off about the portrayal of Thatcher too. In real life Thatcher had several quite different voices she'd use in different circumstances, but the same rather dry, very formal public speaking voice was used throughout which sounded odd during private conversations. The styling was off too as Thatcher looked very different in the first half of the 80s, before she started power dressing.
  4. I feel really melancholy now that I've finished this season. It was a fantastic season of television.

    I have so many thoughts, mostly glowing but a few critiques too, and I don't even know where to start but [mild spoilers ahead] the scene between Diana and Philip at the end of the final episode was electric. The way Philip goes into the bedroom with some empathy and warmth for her and she's immediately able to relax her body language around him created this kind of intimacy for her that she had barely had with any other scene partner and it was so lovely to see. Like, just the brief relief of "oh god at last she can have a semi-normal conversation with somebody!" But then it takes a turn and suddenly he's kind of not just giving Diana a lecture but also voicing the show's core idea, which is that everybody in that family wants to be somebody but only the Queen really matters. I thought it was so well done.

    Tobias Menzes has grown into the role of Philip absolutely superbly (they really look nothing alike physically and I think that has freed him a lot to just get lost in the character) - he wasn't centre stage as much as in season 3 but I think he was fantastic throughout, and it helped that he was contrasted with the rest of the family basically becoming increasingly insular and frosty.

    The whole family IRL must be absolutely raging about this season though because so maybe people are going to take it as the gospel truth about what happened between Charles and Diana and none of them except Diana came off in a remotely good light. Except Margot, obviously. That's my queen. Her episode was divine. Charles was a totally self-absorbed petulant arsehole manchild for the entire season, and I'm guessing it's not that far removed from reality. This was the closest The Crown has come to being a hit job on any given character - I mean fucking Margaret Thatcher was written with far more sympathy and shade than Charles. What a PR disaster for him, and all of them!

    On Thatcher, I think Gillian Anderson found a specific way to approach the character that rested a lot on physicality and voice that I really enjoyed (although she seemed so old in her body language but there's really no hiding Gillian's beauty so a bit of suspension of disbelief going on there ddd). However... I don't think she was really essential to the season. It was very notable that almost none of her politics came into play at any point. Other PMs had episodes focused on dealing with crises but the approach to Thatcher felt quite light, like they were happy for it to be about how her daughter resents her a bit and how she likes to cook for the cabinet in her flat, rather than about her damaging political legacy on the country. Again, I really enjoyed her across the season but the show has shifted its interests in the stories it wants to tell. When she feels betrayed by Geoffrey Howe's humiliating resignation speech, it doesn't register as a betrayal to the audience because we've had no real sense of that relationship. She basically existed only through the lens of the Queen, so clearly that's where Peter Morgan's interests lie now.

    The ibble dibble scene was excruciating. I loved that Balmoral episode.

    Emma Corrin was a revelation. This is such an arrival of a performance for her. She just made you feel so much for Diana. I don't think the writing for Charles and Diana was necessarily that great honestly, but the performances (hers especially) did the heavy lifting and made all of their scenes into blockbuster TV. The binge-eating and bulimia scenes were really well done.

    I was six when Diana died and I remember always being aware that she had been this huge part of UK culture, even in death, but I didn't know a lot of the details of her life. I've done lots of reading this week and although The Crown obviously took a lot of creative liberties with the details, I think what Emma did was really capture the essence of Diana, as this optimistic, very young girl who wanted to belong and couldn't understand why she'd been picked and then immediately left out in the cold, but still had a bit of fighting spirit in her and refused to let go of it.

    I hated the podcast ddd. The female co-host was so annoying and everything gets so trivialised in that annoying American way.

    Has anyone seen Diana: In Her Own Words on Netflix? I watched that instead, and found it so revealing and eye-opening. At one point she says that on the night before she moved out of her apartment after getting engaged, her police escort said to her "this is the last night of freedom you'll ever have for the rest of your life, so make sure you enjoy it" or something. I just found it really amazing that even after everything that had happened to her she still spoke without self-pity or bitterness, still talked about Charles with affection at points (it was recorded in 1992), really didn't seem resentful or full of anger like anyone would be. I know it's such an eye-roller to paint Diana as this saintly figure, but I do believe she was a good person with good intentions and a huge amount to give, and that family did its best to destroy her spirit without displaying a trace of humanity. And capturing that, even while making you low-key start to hate the royal family (if you didn't already) is what made season 4 such a triumph.

    The closing shot was so chilling.
  5. Christ I just wrote a fucking essay. Sorry about that!
  6. I think Emma was incredible and already my biggest gripe with season 5 is the fact that they've recast her when she's only going to live for seven more years anyway. Like, I know Emma looks a bit too young to play a 36-year-old, but to be honest it's more believable than Olivia Colman playing a 64-year-old soooo

    She should've been a rare holdover to bridge the seasons.

    On that note, I do hope we'll see a Thatcher cameo like we did with Churchill.
  7. Elizabeth really has that 90s Diana look to her though. Emma very much embodied younger 80s Diana.

    The difference was pretty staggering.
    Monkey0 likes this.
  8. Is there any specific reason the Queen never made Prince Philip 'Prince Consort'? It's the highest possible honour available to him and he's certainly stayed the course, so why not?
  9. Just finished S4. Pretty solid all the way through, though I grew a bit tired of Charles and Diana’s drama by the end of it. I suppose some of the things I didn’t like about it - The queen having a white feminist-y moment of sympathizing with Thatcher in the finale, everyone in the family continually ignoring and gaslighting Diana - weren’t actual faults of the show as much as faults of the real life people the show is depicting, who the show understands are all pretty universally fucked up due to an archaic system none of them really understand how to be a part of in changing times.

    It’s hard to find many faults with the show itself as it’s all pretty meticulously studied and well thought out - from the costumes to the character speeches to the recreations of actual historic moments and insight into the characters’ psyche. I do think though that this would have been a season that could have benefitted from being stretched into two; so much happens with the royals in the 80s and while that makes this the fastest paced and most fun season of the show yet, it also has a lot of ground to cover. The season spans about 13 years (about the same as S3, more than 1 and 2’s 8), which means more than a year passes from episode to episode and there’s not enough time to really invest in anything that happens on a micro-level. One episode Diana and Charles are getting married, the next they are pregnant, the next there’s a kid running around. I suppose S3 was similarly scattershot but that season was more invested in historical political, not personal events, whereas this season, especially in the second half went full tilt into melodrama, which made that birds eye view approach a bit of an ill fit.

    Similarly, as good as Emma Corrin is, she starts out playing the character as a 16 year old and I don’t feel like I fully bought her transformation into an older, almost 30 year old Diana. If anything, splitting the season in two and letting the new ensemble take over would have smoothed over some of those kinks. It is understandable though why Morgan wants to split the 90s into two at least.
    stuaw, bakerboy92 and Mikal like this.
  10. This is utterly iconic

  11. Confession time. I only watched season 4 because it was the magic mix - incredible cast and huge opportunity for riveting storytelling. I hadn't seen any of it before this (but I might go back and watch it now).

    It was absolutely fucking fantastic. There's not a bad performance in this show. Everyone is on their A-game.

    Colman and Anderson were completely flawless for me. What a pair of icons. But Corrin was just spectacular. What a find she was.

    There were some scenes that I audibly gasped at, and cackled at the thought of how utterly raging the Palace would be if anyone ever had the balls to show them clips. The lunch between Elizabeth and Andrew - woo lord, that was brazen. And obviously only put in there to be cheeky, seeing as how that part of his life isn't even covered after that.

    God damn, they really went for Charles though. There was no subtlety about that whatsoever.
    Stradiwhovius likes this.
  12. Finished this last night and it was such a step up from season 3 story wise. The acting has always been amazing and what carried 3 in my opinion.

    Its hard to pinpoint any one performance as they were all gold and expect it to absolutely dominate awards season.

    I also have never laughed more and it was mostly at the Queen’s lines. The ‘he’s you know... a friend of Dorothy’ made me howl and when she impersonated Thatcher in the last episode I also creased. Colman truly is a gift.

    Josh O’Connor did really well at making you hate Charles, quite the reversal from 3. And the Queen’s dressing down of him in the finale was exquisite.

    I feel like Erin Doherty got more screentime as Anne this time around and while most of it was telling the Queen about Charles and Diana, Doherty was amazing throughout. I might miss her most.

    Helena Bonham Carter’s role felt like the last hurrah for Margaret as we go into S5 and 6. I did really like her stand alone episode though I couldn’t shake the feeling that the instutionalised sisters were used more of a narrative prop than anything more and while Margot seemed distraught about their predicament the story didn’t let her do anything more than use it as another way to dig out and be the voice of relative reason in the royal family.

    Wow it’s a long post but obviously Anderson, Corrin and Menzies all killed it too. Great series, excited to see what Elizaveth Debicki will bring to Diana now
    Mikal likes this.
  13. So I’m rewatching Season 2. I’m only two episodes in but it’s not really holding my attention. Season 1 told a very complete story with Elizabeth’s ascension and Churchill’s final years as prime minister but Season 2 feels very much like we’re in no man’s land. Nothing too gripping to really hook you in.

    What my rewatch really does drive home is what a balls-to-the-wall extravaganza of epic storytelling Season 4 really is. Those characters telling those stories was always going to be dynamite but they pulled it off magnificently. I really think Season 4 will go down as the jewel in The Crown (pardon the pun).
    DoggySwami and DominoDancing like this.
  14. Gosh, he's fantastic. I lost it at Diana's 'Hamilton'.
    LPT and Monkey0 like this.
  15. This is honestly genius. I could watch it forever.
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  16. One thing I'd have liked to see them explore more would have been the relationship between Diana and Margaret. Diana apparently liked her and they got on well prior to that BBC interview, and in the family scenes Helena's dialogue always pointed to Margaret having the greatest understanding of what was going to happen and perhaps seeing some of herself in Diana or affinity given her past, and speaking of her with some degree of sympathy not featured with the other royals.

    I'd have liked to see the two actresses be given the opportunity to explore that relationship even a little bit.

    I loved this series but I do think it's harder as it gets closer to the modern day. Perhaps because you have your own memories of the time and views on the individuals which isn't so much the case in the earlier years where you can lose yourself in the world they create a little easier.
    HorseTears, rav4boy and Matgo like this.
  17. Who’s now watching the Diana docs on Netflix?!

    ‘Diana: In Her Own Words’ it’s rather good (if sad).
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  18. I believe it stems from the fact that at the time of his marriage he was not a Prince. By the time the Queen made him a Prince I guess it wasn't considered necessary. It's not that much of an honour. It's not even an official title - it was invented by Queen Victoria for Prince Albert.
  19. I only came for the Diana but have now gone back and started watching from Series 1. The killer smog episode. Initially ignored and escalated by Churchill. Worsened through government inaction, ineffective measures, people not wearing masks. and Churchill is more interested in the hobbies of Prince Phillip. Feels familiar somehow.
    stuaw, livefrommelbs, rav4boy and 4 others like this.
  20. I’ve blasted through the first two seasons this past week and am absolutely loving it. I can’t wait to get to season 4. Margaret is definitely my favourite though, and I’ll definitely be sad to see Vanessa Kirby go.
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