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The Crown doesn’t sparkle

November 14, 2022

Okay, I’m only about halfway through the new season of The Crown on Netflix and I have to say I am less that impressed. It’s not so much the storylines and the writing that are not as good as the earlier series, it’s as if they’re turning the monarchy into a cartoon. And by constantly rotating actors in the various lead roles, it’s as if a group of people is looking at each other and saying, “It’s your turn now.”

I don’t think Imelda Staunton is as convincing as Olivia Colman as Queen. Colman managed to convey feelings and emotions by raising an eyebrow. Staunton just doesn’t have that same ability. Just because you are vaguely the same age as the Queen was at the time she’s portrayed, or because you vaguely look like her, doesn’t mean to say you can deliver a performance that takes people back to the times.

I found the Crown’s depiction of the “annus horribilus” speech at the Guildhall to be particularly poor. It is a legendary moment in the Queen’s history, etched in all our minds as a moment when the Queen spoke directly to her people in a heartfelt moment that defined that year. And the writers slightly rewrote the speech. The Queen did not say she thought it was her “annus horribilus,” she said it was “in the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents.” There’s a very subtle difference which wasn’t acknowledged and slightly alters the context.

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