I don't go to the cinema all that often -- complicated life, often tired in the evenings -- so when I do it's a treat, especially if the film is a good one. I saw a cracker of a film this week, and it was a double treat because I went in the afternoon, my excuse for that being that I'd been ill for a while and thought it might be classifiable as convalescence (thin excuse, I'm afraid). No cinema where I live, so my friend and I drove into Wigan, far from being my favorite town, but one which has a reasonable multiplex. Although neither of us is in the first flush of youth, we were the youngest people in the audience by about twenty years. And the film that had had drawn geriatrics out in surprisingly large numbers? The Queen. If you haven't seen it, please do so really soon. It is a remarkably thoughtful and thought-provoking piece of work, which takes place over the short period in 1997 when Blair was first elected and Diana died. Those two events had never been connected in my mind before, but the film shows with great tact and perceptiveness how inextricably they became intertwined and what a profound effect that had on Blair's personal and political growth, on his relationship with the queen, and on the royal family as a whole. The acting is truly excellent -- Helen Mirren as the queen is remarkable, but many of the lesser known actors are equally impressive. For me the best thing about the film as a whole is how balanced it is. It really nudges away at your preconceptions and left me, at least, in a different place from the one I started in, and all this without preaching or propogandising at all.