The Crown

the-crownSuggested by Brad Nelson • Queen Elizabeth II is a 25-year-old newlywed faced with the daunting prospect of leading the world’s most famous monarchy while forging a relationship with legendary Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill.
A Netflix Original
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6 Responses to The Crown

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    You first thought may be, “Oh, no. Not another drama about the dreary royal family.” That’s certainly what I thought. But I gave it a shot.

    I’ve watched three episodes and started the fourth. I’d be very interested in hearing what Mr. Kung thinks about John Lithgow’s portrayal of Churchill. But what isn’t in question is the extraordinary fine touch, cinematography, and production values of this. This is, so far, extraordinary and gripping to watch. If you have Netflix, give it a shot. That may be the only place you can find it now.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    The first four episodes were very good. A couple after that were somewhat mediocre. But one of the best ones, just concluded, was “Assassins” which is centered around the commissioning of a portrait by Parliament and the House of Lords to commemorate Mr. Churchill’s 80th birthday.

    Who knows how many of the details of this drama are factual. But Mr. Churchill hates the portrait (which his wife later unceremoniously burns) even while (at least in this adaptation, likely highly fictional) has an engaging interlude with this modernist artist.

    I’m no expert on the royal family. But I would say this series looks to be an even-handed approach. Obviously such a series is going to focus more on the controversies and failures. You never will see the hundred days in a row where everyone did their jobs without incident.

    That said, it would seem the only member of the royal family of late with even an ounce of true blue blood is Elizabeth Tudor herself. Her husband, at least in his younger years, seems to have all the flaws of what you might call a lower-class youth. Princess Margaret seems to stir up trouble where none was desired or required. And although Edward VIII might have made a passable king had he stuck to it, he seems to be a thorough flake. His brother, the unlikely king, seems on the contrary to have been a very good king. Churchill certainly was very fond of him (although he was also an ally to some extent of his wayward brother as well).

    Lithgow is certainly good enough in terms of evoking the Churchill look. But he doesn’t do much with the voice. Still, it’s not horrible. Claire Foy is excellent (even in that subtle banality) as Queen Elizabeth II. Vanessa Kirby is a spry and spirited Princess Margaret.

    A series such as this could be, and probably is, lost in the plethora of series and movies about the royal family. But I consider this one a far cut above.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Who knows how many of the details of this drama are factual. But Mr. Churchill hates the portrait (which his wife later unceremoniously burns) even while (at least in this adaptation, likely highly fictional) has an engaging interlude with this modernist artist.

      Churchill did hate the portrait and Clementine did burn it. I don’t recall the bit about the interlude with the artist.

      That said, it would seem the only member of the royal family of late with even an ounce of true blue blood is Elizabeth Tudor herself.

      Elizabeth’s family name was Windsor. This had been changed from Saxe-Coburg due to WWI.

      Her husband, Prince Philip was from the Battenberg family, changed to Mountbatten, also because of WWI.

      And although Edward VIII might have made a passable king had he stuck to it, he seems to be a thorough flake

      He was something of a flake, but he also was a bit too close to the Nazis and made a number of admiring statements about them in public.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        They had some back-and-forth between Churchill and the English modernist artist that I thought was constructed, although interesting. They ended up liking aspects of each other’s art and Sutherland delved into Churchill’s psyche regarding one of his numerous pond paintings. That may sound strained but it came off well in the episode. Supposedly Churchill added the pond soon after Marigold’s (his 2-year-old) death. Septicemia, I think it was.

        One of those pond paintings I do find quite nice and interesting. Whether it is representative of Churchill’s wish for people to probe into his dark anguish, I couldn’t say. Sounds like hogwash, but it’s a legitimate way of speaking amongst artists. Whether it is just window dressing and an affectation, I couldn’t say for sure.

        And isn’t this one rather nice. I think this is rather nice as well. It seems unusual to expect a politician to not be little more than a one-note talent such as Obama who excels at corrosive and dishonest rhetoric, although apparently he can play a passable round of golf. Churchill may have been building his entire life to a political career (with Destiny giving a hand), but he certainly wasn’t of the vapid type who voted “present.” He wasn’t an empty suit. In fact, look how full he was indeed.

        And, yes, I think the series shows a newsreel or something regarding the Duke and Duchess visiting Hitler. They were of the same caliber of empty suits as the little snot-nosed twit who is Prime Minister of Canada.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Bush 43 has been doing a lot of painting since he left office, and reportedly is reasonably good.

          Conservative author Pauline Glen Winslow (author of I, Martha Adams, which was often described as a love letter to Reagan), in The Windsor Plot, does an alternative history involving the Nazi shenanigans with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in 1940.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          I forget which one, but some famous artist opined that had Churchill decided to become a painter instead of a politician, he would have been one of the best of the twentieth century, or something like that.

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