Stars: Roxana Lupu, Daniel Plier, Richard Elfyn, Patrick Drury, Caroline Loneo, Nicholas Boulton and Karen Westwood
Directors: Alexis Cahill and Brigette Drodtloff
Scriptwriters: Gabi Antal, Alexis Cahill and Brigette Drodtloff
Composer: Giancarlo Russo
Cinematography: Gabriel Kosuth
Costumes: Claudia Bunea and Ana Ioneci
Abos Studio and Samuel Goldwyn Films
No rating but could be PG 13
Running Length: 115 Minutes
Reviewing “Queen Marie” at this time presents an interesting view of two royal personages, the Crown Princess of Norway and the Queen of Romania, at two different wars and with similar journeys to make for aid for their respective countries. In both wars, Germany is the culprit. Norway, on PBS, is currently showing the Norway story, “Atlantic Crossing.” Now, we have “Queen Marie” and her story which is similar, but years earlier. It would seem that if you are a royal personage, besides learning your duties at court, you must learn how to ask for aid from other countries, as well.
“Queen Marie” begins with people lining up for food supplies. World War I has ended. Queen Marie (Roxana Lupu) is told by her husband King Ferdinand (Daniel Plier) to stay away from politics, but later, asks her to go to England and see her “Cousin George V” (Nicholas Boulton) for help. In the meantime, Marie has to deal with a rebellious son, Carol (Anghei Damian), and finally, she is packed and on her way. Romania’s plea is that they want Transylvania back, which was taken from them, dividing the country. The Queen wants to unite Romania into a whole again. Many things for a Queen to deal with, what the son is up to now, what to dress for certain occasions (this is important at these times), people don’t trust her because she is not from Romania (she married into that family), but is Queen Victoria’s grand-daughter. Then there is what to say at the appropriate time. press conferences and important meetings with other heads of state including David Lloyd George (Richard Elfyn), George Clemenceau, King George V and so on. There is also a meeting with Woodrow Wilson (Patrick Drury) and his wife, Edith (Caroline Loneo.) Eventually, Marie has to go back to Romania and what a surprise there. Was this expected, or not?
First of all, this is an elegantly done production, complete with stellar music by Giancarlo Russo, cinematography by Gabriel Kosuth and costume design by Claudia Bunea and Ana Ioneci. They provide the backdrop to the actors who play out what it is like to be a head of state in wartime. Roxana Lupu plays Queen Marie as a person wearing a mask of civility, and presents a regal image, but underneath you can see in her face, that she is not sure of what to do. She is in a man’s game here. Daniel Plier as King Ferdinand is the leader who sends his wife off to do his work and then chastises when it is not done as he would want it. The actors who portray famous figures such as Woodrow Wilson (Patrick Drury) do well in their roles and all present what is being governed at that particular time in history. However, grand the production is, there are many characters in the family and some come and go and you don’t know why they were there in the first place. Such as the character of Joe Boyle (Robert Cavanah) who is there helping to get aid for Romania, and comes and goes.. Would have liked to know the history of the character.
As the script goes, this is a historical story, with beautiful buildings and gowns and scenery along the way. The weight of the film is on Rosana Lupu and she does it well. In watching what constitutes being a Royal, you begin to wonder why the countries even have a king when the queen does most of the work. A tiara and perfume can do wonders at a conference table.
Copyright 2021 Marie Asner