A ROYAL NIGHT OUT | REVIEW

The first time I saw this trailer I just knew I wanted to see this movie, it looked fun and for some strange reason I am a definite Royalist. For someone so completely non-conservative I just love the Royals, perhaps it was dancing and singing for Charles and Diana in the Bicentenary events back in 1988 and falling completely in love with Diana or was it watching and empathising with her lovely sons who of recent years I have fallen even more in love with, especially that Harry – meow :). Whatever you say about the Royals they have become nothing but more popular in the last years and this new generation inspires and I think they are the best celebrities out there. So when a movie comes out about a sneaky night out for Princess Elizabeth and Margaret on VE Day in 1945, I was on board. A ROYAL NIGHT OUT is out this weekend for previews in Australia with official release this coming Thursday 14th May. It is released from Paramount Australia, is rated M and runs for 97mins. 

 

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A ROYAL NIGHT OUT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | AUSTRALIAN POSTER IMAGE

 

BY JASON KING

Yesterday was the 70th anniversary, May 8th 1945, was VE Day – Victory in Europe, the end of WWII. A time of huge celebrations the like of which we can only match on New Year’s Eve the world over but the meaning of which is far superior. An end to a devastating war that killed way too many people but still in the U.K. there was a huge difference between the classes. The Royals were still living their life of privilege while people were struggling and making huge sacrifices for the war effort. On this night to end the war, the King would be giving his VE speech at midnight when the war would officially end and the two princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret, want to be part of the celebrations with the people, after a life of servitude to King, country and their family they want to be there for this historical event and to be part of society.

While the movie is incredibly loosely based on factual events, the Princesses gain permission from the King to slip into the celebrations incognito with chaperones. They are to be home by midnight and their father only wants them to report back what the people truly thought of his speech. It was a turning point for the Royals, they were on the fence of love and hate from the public and the film briefly looks at this.

 

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A ROYAL NIGHT OUT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | PRINCESS ELIZABETH (SARAH GADON), PRINCESS MARGARET (BEL POWELY), QUEEN ELIZABETH (EMILY WATSON) AND KING GEORGE (RUPERT EVERETT)

 

Ignoring historical  accuracies A ROYAL NIGHT OUT is basically flawless, and easily will finish the year in my top 10 movies. I was so taken aback and surprised at the brilliant production. It has a Cinderella feel to it, a perfect screenplay, a remarkable score, sublime acting and such feel good emotions and fun I was giggling, crying and feeling all warm on the inside.

Director Julian Jarrold just nails it. He brought us KINKY BOOTS (2005) and BRIDESHEAD REVISITED (2008) and in this he weaves a certain fairy tale magic. Writers Trevor De Silva and Kevin Hood (BECOMING JANE 2007) are relative unknowns and deliver one incredibly clever, nuanced and humorous packed screenplay that plays on so many emotions and makes for one fun, “fish out of water” tale for the young Royals. The movie is hilarious, placing these naive ladies of privilege into every possible situation they should not be in. They are both paired with so many bad people and into to so many crazy situations you just have to sit back and laugh at all the outcomes.

The film does reflect Cinderella and her need to leave the castle even with their mother, the perfectly cast Emily Watson as Queen Elizabeth, stating they must be home by midnight. Let’s just say that little innocent journey into the night runs much later than midnight.

 

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A ROYAL NIGHT OUT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | PRINCESS ELIZABETH (SARAH GADON), PRINCESS MARGARET (BEL POWELY), QUEEN ELIZABETH (EMILY WATSON) AND KING GEORGE (RUPERT EVERETT)

 

Paul Englishby delivers another superbly matched score that enhances the movie and shines with grandeur and royalty. It combines well with a casting that is award worthy. Emily Watson and Rupert Everett are brilliant as King George and Queen Elizabeth I – Everett is slightly quirky and reminiscent of Colin Firth’s King George but a little more humorous and Watson is a perfect Queen Mother – she nailed it, her subtle humour and facial expressions had me chuckling a lot. Jack Reynor is on my must watch list since WHAT RICHARD DID and I will ignore TRANSFORMERS 4 – it wasn’t his fault :). He is a nice balance to Sarah Gadon’s demure and elegantly polite Princess Elizabeth. I embraced them both as their characters and their romance was Romeo and Juliet worthy, something you desperately want, but know through history it could never be. For a romance that has one minuscule cinematic kiss only it had more chemistry than most romance movies these days.

And then we have Bel Powley as Queen Margaret, a role that is basically comic relief but that stole every scene. It is the best role in the movie and every line had me in hysterics. The one issue that lost half a point for this movie, the writers really do take the piss on Margaret, I am not quite sure how much she would enjoy the movie. I think perhaps the taking the piss went too far and was relentless, do not get me wrong – I bloody loved this role but it was not subtle. What Powley did with it was hilarious and her timing, flawless.

 

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A ROYAL NIGHT OUT | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JACK (JACK REYNOR) AND PRINCESS ELIZABETH (SARAH GADON) IN THE MIDDLE OF CELEBRATIONS AT TRAFALGAR SQUARE

 

The cinematography by Christophe Beaucarne makes the film look a lot larger than it is, especially those scenes in the celebratory crowds, the scene in Trafalgar Square and in front of Buckingham Palace actually had me quite emotional and transported me into the emotion of the time, I could feel the elation and bought it hook line and sinker. Christophe Beaucarne is known for his work on MR NOBODY (2009), COCO BEFOR CHANEL (2009) and ADORATION (2013).

I loved this movie and if you want a beautiful and hilarious movie to see, or take parents and/or grandparents to, this is the one. It warmed my heart and I will see it again.

 

4 and a Half Pops