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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 September 2006, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Majestic Mirren is a Venice hit
Helen Mirren arriving at the premiere
Dame Helen Mirren is already being tipped for an Oscar nomination
Dame Helen Mirren's movie performance as the Queen has been met with critical acclaim after its premiere in Venice.

The actress is already being tipped for an Oscar nomination for her role in The Queen, which deals with the aftermath of Princess Diana's death in 1997.

Stephen Frears' film suggests the Queen considered abdication as she struggled to cope with the public grief.

It comes days after Dame Helen, 61, won an Emmy award for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in a Channel 4 mini-series.

The Queen is considered one of the favourites for the main honour at the Venice Film Festival, the Golden Lion.

Helen Mirren as the Queen
The Queen interweaves dramatic scenes with archive footage
And the festival can be a launching pad for films with potential for success at the Oscars.

Trade publication Screen Daily said: "Helen Mirren's beautifully nuanced performance as Queen Elizabeth II is likely to be crowned with a host of awards nominations."

The Hollywood Reporter's critic wrote: "Mirren is superb in finding those telling moments where the royal mask drops to reveal the flesh-and-blood woman."

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

Frears, Mirren and other cast members received a 15-minute standing ovation at Saturday's world premiere, according to the AFP news agency.

And AFP said a headline in Italian newspaper La Repubblica read: "Queen wins Venice's heart."

Royal 'crisis'

The film dramatises behind-the-scenes events involving the Royal Family and the newly-elected UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, played by Michael Sheen.

The film suggests that there was a difference of opinion between the Queen and prime minister about how to react to Diana's death, in a crisis that threatened the position of the monarchy.

Dame Helen has said the film's "magical script" attracted her to the role - but added she would be "devastated if the Queen feels that I've betrayed her in my portrayal of her".


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Watch a clip from The Queen



SEE ALSO
Faces of the week
01 Sep 06 |  Magazine
C4 Elizabeth drama sweeps Emmys
28 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
Johansson opens Venice festival
30 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
Actress Mirren's Queen unveiled
21 Sep 05 |  Entertainment

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