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papyrusbeetle

"The Crown" -- some issues!

20 posts in this topic

I don't know if it's legal to rip into this "instant classic", which is a tv-series from Netflix, on this board. But - here goes:

FLAWLESS and entertaining in so many areas, I have 2 big issues with this series:Elizabeth and Margaret are stunning beauties--great! Fun to watch always.

But WHY take 2 older characters and cast them with 2 UGLY British Actresses, when the actual women were darned lovely?

Clementine Churchill is played by Harriet Walter (plain and homely) when Clementine, IRL was, even in her old age, a stunning lady.

The Queen Mother is played by Victoria Hamilton ( plain, dim-looking, and with a sadly misshapen face ) when the REAL Queen Mother, though an ordinary, hard-drinking woman, was adorable all her life, with a beautiful face and smile, and quite a beauty as a little girl, too.

They just don't need an older, uglier generation to make the 2 leads (LIZ and MARGARET) look good--they are gorgeous on their own.

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I think maybe you're being a little harsh on those two actresses. I actually quite liked them both, and thought they both did a great job portraying their characters -- and it must be extra difficult performing in a role of someone who really existed.

AS for the woman who plays the Queen Mother: I think part of why she comes across as unattractive is not so much her actual appearance, as her personality, which was, at least according to "The Crown", somewhat dull and fuddy-duddy-ish. In which case, Victoria Hamilton does a first-rate job of getting those qualities across.

Here's a pic of her, NOT portraying the Queen Mother. I dunno...she may not be an outstanding beauty, but she looks ok to me. Certainly not "misshapen".

Image result for victoria hamilton

By the way, glad to see someone else here is appreciating this great series. It's fascinating. And no, you don't have to be a royalist to enjoy it. It's very well done, and I look forward to season 3.

edit: Actually, I just looked up Harriet Walter. She looks just fine, both in real life and as Mrs. Churchill.

You seem to be a very hard critic of people's looks, at least in television series. I would not describe either of those women as "ugly".

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5 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

By the way, glad to see someone else here is appreciating this great series. It's fascinating. And no, you don't have to be a royalist to enjoy it. It's very well done, and I look forward to season 3.

How do you see it, if you don't mind my inquiring? I took it from your prior comments that you did not watch Netflix, which is who makes it. Is it shown on some other service or channel in Canada?

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Just now, LawrenceA said:

How do you see it, if you don't mind my inquiring? I took it from your prior comments that you did not watch Netflix, which is who makes it. Is it shown on some other service or channel in Canada?

I'm very old-fashioned when it comes to my movie and television-series viewing, Lawrence. "The Crown" is available on DVD. Both season 1 and 2 are out on DVD; we just bought them, threw the discs on our DVD player (which gets heavy use in our house), and watch. 

I don't do any kind of "streaming" viewing, neither for movies nor for series such as "The Crown". Believe it or not, when I watch TCM it's in real time. And when I watch a movie (other than the ones on TCM) or tv series, it's on my trusty DVD player.

Oh, hey, you think that's bad?  I still have a VCR, and once in a while I actually watch a videotape on it ! ! 

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3 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

I'm very old-fashioned when it comes to my movie and television-series viewing, Lawrence. "The Crown" is available on DVD. Both season 1 and 2 are out on DVD; we just bought them, threw the discs on our DVD player (which gets heavy use in our house), and watch. 

I don't do any kind of "streaming" viewing, neither for movies nor for series such as "The Crown". Believe it or not, when I watch TCM it's in real time. And when I watch a movie (other than the ones on TCM) or tv series, it's on my trusty DVD player.

Oh, hey, you think that's bad?  I still have a VCR, and once in a while I actually watch a videotape on it ! ! 

No, I don't think there's anything wrong with watching stuff however you wish. I use virtually every type: live TV, DVR, DVD, Blu-ray, streaming, and yes, even VHS quite frequently. I never did get a laser-disc player though, and I have no interest in 3-D or 4K, or 8K or whatever else comes out next week. 

That's nice that you were able to get that on disc, as streaming-original series and movies often don't get released on home video formats.

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Actually, I checked the dvd's of "Crown" out at my public library.

To Disagree:

Of course Harriet Walter is a fun actress--I've seen her in all the "Peter Wimsey" series, and in a bunch of Agatha Christie shows. But she is HORSE-FACED. Bless her heart, she isn't cute or beautiful.

Victoria Hamilton is (trying to) portray a woman who looks like a cuddly bunny-rabbit her entire life. (Though with a cocktail always in hand). Victoria ALSO has a big old homely face, fine for many roles---not for a bunny-rabbit.

I'm SURE there are some older British actresses who can fit these requirements.

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23 hours ago, misswonderly3 said:

I think maybe you're being a little harsh on those two actresses. I actually quite liked them both, and thought they both did a great job portraying their characters -- and it must be extra difficult performing in a role of someone who really existed.

AS for the woman who plays the Queen Mother: I think part of why she comes across as unattractive is not so much her actual appearance, as her personality, which was, at least according to "The Crown", somewhat dull and fuddy-duddy-ish. In which case, Victoria Hamilton does a first-rate job of getting those qualities across.

Here's a pic of her, NOT portraying the Queen Mother. I dunno...she may not be an outstanding beauty, but she looks ok to me. Certainly not "misshapen".

Image result for victoria hamilton

By the way, glad to see someone else here is appreciating this great series. It's fascinating. And no, you don't have to be a royalist to enjoy it. It's very well done, and I look forward to season 3.

edit: Actually, I just looked up Harriet Walter. She looks just fine, both in real life and as Mrs. Churchill.

You seem to be a very hard critic of people's looks, at least in television series. I would not describe either of those women as "ugly".

Gotta agree wholeheartedly with Miss Wonderly about these actresses and their looks. Hamilton is attractive as a raven-haired type, similar in physiognomy to Dyan Cannon and Hamilton reminds me of Sian Phillips who played Livia in I, Claudius and was a uniquely patrician type in appearance. We're not talking ugly ducklings here to any degree. Now neither lady reminds me of Patsy Kelly who one might consider that nature was far less kind to in appearance.

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4 minutes ago, papyrusbeetle said:

Actually, I checked the dvd's of "Crown" out at my public library.

To Disagree:

Of course Harriet Walter is a fun actress--I've seen her in all the "Peter Wimsey" series, and in a bunch of Agatha Christie shows. But she is HORSE-FACED. Bless her heart, she isn't cute or beautiful.

Victoria Hamilton is (trying to) portray a woman who looks like a cuddly bunny-rabbit her entire life. (Though with a cocktail always in hand). Victoria ALSO has a big old homely face, fine for many roles---not for a bunny-rabbit.

I'm SURE there are some older British actresses who can fit these requirements.

I think the disagreeable term horse-faced should be reserved for someone more like Princess Anne and not Harriet Walter, who is far from having the face of a horse, not that there's anything wrong with looking like some horses.

By the way, the problem here may be that we don't even agree on that Clementine Churchill was attractive herself, since in my opinion, she looked in her youth a lot like Ethel Barrymore, and as was said then, unfortunately she took after the looks of the Drew side of the family, with her poppy eyeballs and prominent features, instead of the Blythe family which looked more like the handsome John, getting his father's appearance.

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For anyone interested in this topic but who is not familiar with the show, here are the two women in question as they appear on The Crown:

Harriet Walter

walter-741987.jpg

Victoria Hamilton

Victoria-Hamilton-as-the-Queen-Mother-93

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Great to hear from fans of this show---!

But i think for a VERY FAMOUS role (instantly recognizable, the Queen Mother, even to non-subjects) we need a similarly "CUTE" actress....that's what tempers the REALITY of the Queen Mother's (SUPPOSED) failings as a mother---probably the only fault the poor woman had was a fondness for drinking.

We love her--she's grandma!

--but Victoria Hamilton just looks "off."

..........................................

to me, the most disturbing thing about "The Crown" (other than this weird casting) is watching poor Elizabeth never getting up the guts to say NO.

Worst of all, she can't say NO to her many employees---!  This woman needs some consciousness-raising ASAP!

 

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Clementine Churchill was a BABE. Her entire life. Enough SAID.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

I haven't seen the older version of "Princess Anne" on this show, but from what i know about her, and saw once on a British-TV charity fundraising game show she appeared in, she is TOTALLY MODERN.

Fun, spunky, tough, and standing up for herself.

(Her mother Elizabeth should have been like this right out of the gate, and avoided a lot of angst.)

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Interesting that these comments are only about the female actors' looks.

For instance: Everyone seems to think that the Queen's husband, Philip, was a good-looking guy in his youth. I'm not sure I agree with that. I guess he was ok, but not madly attractive. I also don't agree with the consensus that the actor playing him, Matt Smith, is an exceptionally handsome man. Again, I don't want to be nasty about this...both the original and the actor playing him are all right looking, just not exceptionally attractive, which seems to be how others regard them.

"That said", I really enjoy Matt Smith's portrayal of Philip, I think he's really good. And I LOVE Claire Foy as the title role, I will really miss her when they change actresses for Elizabeth in Season 3.

By the way, I've been following Claire Foy's career for a while. She was Amy Dorrit in the outstanding British series, "Little Dorrit", and damn, was she good. As was the whole series.

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Matt Smith is a funny looking bloke. I haven't watched his Doctor Who stint, but I've seen him in a handful of movie roles. I haven't been impressed thus far, but perhaps Who and The Crown would change my mind.

As for Claire Foy, I've only seen her in Unsane, the Steven Soderbergh-directed thriller from last year that was shot using an iPhone. She wasn't bad in that. I also saw her on her Saturday Night Live hosting gig, and she seemed game, even if the writing wasn't there.

Edit: I just looked her filmography up, and she was in the Nicolas Cage medieval supernatural action flick Season of the Witch back in 2011. I saw that, but didn't recall that it was she in the female lead. I recall it being a solid genre B-movie.

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14 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

Interesting that these comments are only about the female actors' looks.

For instance: Everyone seems to think that the Queen's husband, Philip, was a good-looking guy in his youth. I'm not sure I agree with that. I guess he was ok, but not madly attractive. I also don't agree with the consensus that the actor playing him, Matt Smith, is an exceptionally handsome man. Again, I don't want to be nasty about this...both the original and the actor playing him are all right looking, just not exceptionally attractive, which seems to be how others regard them.

"That said", I really enjoy Matt Smith's portrayal of Philip, I think he's really good. And I LOVE Claire Foy as the title role, I will really miss her when they change actresses for Elizabeth in Season 3.

By the way, I've been following Claire Foy's career for a while. She was Amy Dorrit in the outstanding British series, "Little Dorrit", and damn, was she good. As was the whole series.

I agree, and let's face it, just as some people are richer than others and smarter, some got blessed with what society thinks are better looks, which usually just means a face with proportions of a certain mold that is agreeable to the eye, though we all have our favorites. I find this discussion rather amusing since after looking at photos of Clementine, of whom I did have a remembrance but it was slight, I don't find her the least bit attractive and she has a mouth with hardly a tooth showing since they are all the size of a chicken's and I think Malcolm Muggeridge in drag would be prettier. Now does Clementine look like a sophisticated and classy woman...yes, but she's no Gladys Cooper by far, who was quite beautiful in her youth and as a mature woman in films. I guess beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, since I can't say the Queen Mother looks much better, young or old. Never though Elizabeth or Margaret were toothsome either but that may be a matter of taste and Claire Foy is the idealized version of Elizabeth in my opinion. Nevertheless this conversation is fun if only for seeing what each person here finds attractive in looks of others. Some surveys of woman's looks say when 100 photos of varied women are shown to heterosexual men in the US, they almost uniformly will all pick the very same woman as beautiful, and this type usually has proportions between features that resembles a baby's face, like Marilyn Monroe's with wide eyes, a cute short nose and pouty mouth. This is either sad or revealing. 

The performer who really resembles her part is Lia Williams as Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor.

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This beef is about women's looks---not their "sex" appeal to an audience of men.

I don't mind Claire Foy being a quite pretty Elizabeth. IRL, we know she doesn't look that good.

But the Queen Mother was ADORABLE---at all ages. This is very important to the story, because as Hercule Poirot said in "ABC murders" - A woman's looks are her destiny. (or something along those lines).

Check out some child photos of the Queen Mother (known as the "Rose of Wraby"-her stately home).

I don't think it is too much to ask that they cast an "adorable" mature actress to portray her.

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I watched some of The Crown and thought that everybody in the house of Windsor is being played by much more attractive actors/actresses than these people were/are in real life. I'm OK with that since the homeliness ran strong in that family until Princess Diana inserted her genes and even then her sons are not that handsome. Seeing pictures of the Queen Mother, she seemed pretty when she was young, the girls just got a big dose of dad's looks. As for Clementine, the pictures I've seen of her even when she was old depicted a very pretty woman. I am a woman myself, a very homely one though always of normal weight. I must agree with that quote " A woman's looks are her destiny." Must be why mine - well, I can't say that word or the autocensor would bleep it out. At 61 I can tell you that the only thing that really bothers an ugly woman as she ages are the infirmities of aging. You are already ugly so time cannot really do a number on your outsides at all.

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26 minutes ago, calvinnme said:

I watched some of The Crown and thought that everybody in the house of Windsor is being played by much more attractive actors/actresses than these people were/are in real life. I'm OK with that since the homeliness ran strong in that family until Princess Diana inserted her genes and even then her sons are not that handsome. Seeing pictures of the Queen Mother, she seemed pretty when she was young, the girls just got a big dose of dad's looks. As for Clementine, the pictures I've seen of her even when she was old depicted a very pretty woman. I am a woman myself, a very homely one though always of normal weight. I must agree with that quote " A woman's looks are her destiny." Must be why mine - well, I can't say that word or the autocensor would bleep it out. At 61 I can tell you that the only thing that really bothers an ugly woman as she ages are the infirmities of aging. You are already ugly so time cannot really do a number on your outsides at all.

It's odd to be having this conversation on a site devoted to movies, a realm in which unrealistic standards are generally the norm. Your candor is refreshing and I hope you take some comfort from the fact that so many people probably give themselves more credit for looks than they actually deserve.

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1 minute ago, DougieB said:

It's odd to be having this conversation on a site devoted to movies, a realm in which unrealistic standards are generally the norm. Your candor is refreshing and I hope you take some comfort from the fact that so many people probably give themselves more credit for looks than they actually deserve.

I don't think it's that odd since most people depicted in film are either fictitious and you can make them attractive if you like - and why not in a visual medium - or are actual people and famous actual people usually get their fame at least in part from their attractiveness. I guess the exception would be famous criminals. The royals are different in that they are real people who got their fame from exiting the right birth canal and nothing else. In this case these famous people just happen to be quite homely, and people will tend to not tune in to watch homely people do anything. Thus Claire Foy playing Queen Elizabeth.

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On 1/18/2019 at 2:37 PM, LawrenceA said:

For anyone interested in this topic but who is not familiar with the show, here are the two women in question as they appear on The Crown:

Here's how those ladies looked the last time I saw them on stage:

Malfi.jpg

Harriet Walter in The Duchess of Malfi (1990) -- not the last time I saw her, but I couldn't find photos for the more recent times.

Albion-production-shots.-Christopher-Fai

Victoria Hamilton in Albion, 2017

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