One of the great advantages of having my mother live so close is that I have someone to go and see girl movies with. We neither of us want to see blood 'n guts, shoot-em-up, car-chase stuff.
So on Boxing Day we went to see The Queen. Helen Mirren was fantastic, as all the reviews have pointed out, but so was the rest of the cast. We particularly liked the portrayal of Prince Charles by Alex Jennings, but all of it was good. There weren't many in the theatre, and during the scenes of Diana's death and the surrounding grief I could hear sniffling - somebody was really getting into it. Afterwards I asked Mum if she knew where the sniffles were. "It was ME" she said. She says she always cries at the movies!
Today we went to see a Queen of quite a different ilk - Marie Antoinette. How different can two women be? One Queen sees her role as a lifetime of service to her people, the other as a license for personal extravagance. Kirsten Dunst plays a very engaging and likeable girl in a very difficult position, and it is easy to forgive her for all her frivolity, and to understand it. The reviews are right - the fashions are gorgeous and the colour and sumptuousness of it all make for a splendid movie.
Now for the really important comparison of the two films. Those frolicking little corgis in The Queen were very cute indeed, with their smiling faces. Cute, yes. But not Pugs.
The opening scene of Marie Antoinette features a silver fawn pug puppy (Mops) curled up with M-A, and there is a tear-welling moment later when she is separated from Mops as she leaves Austria for France. Fortunately there are more little dogs at the court in Versailles, including a very puggish Black Pug. Tres chic!
And here, because you can't have enough Pug Pictures, is one of Jonty in a typical pose: