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See a regal Helen Mirren in ‘The Audience’


Ever since she won the Best Actress Oscar in 2007 for "The Queen," Helen Mirren has been associated with Queen Elizabeth II.

Not that she hadn't played royalty before that. She was the roman empress Caesonia in "Caligula" (1979), Titania the Queen of the Fairies in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1981), Queen Charlotte (wife of Britain's King George III) in "The Madness of King George" (1994), she provided the voice for the title character in the animated "The Snow Queen" (1996), the voice for The Queen in the animated "Prince of Egypt" (1998) … and so on. You get the point.

Mirren cemented her association with the current regent when she again played the queen in a West London stage-play production titled "The Audience" in 2013. That Peter Morgan play was filmed, with Stephen Daldry listed as director, and originally broadcast by the National Theater Live that same year.

Now, the film version is being rescreened. It will play at two area Regal Cinemas theaters, at Northtown Mall and at Coeur d'Alene's Riverstone Stadium, at 7 p.m. on Monday.

"The Audience" captures that moment when the queen meets with a new prime minister. What happens during those meetings is supposed to remain secret, but Morgan's play imagines what might have been said — though that's hardly the production's main draw.

"It's not the pop-up politics that is the magnet in 'The Audience,' it's the monarch," wrote Susannah Clapp for The Guardian. "Helen Mirren – sometimes interrogated by a perter, more wayward, youthful version of herself – moves through some 60 years of regality. Pinched but sturdy, she slices her vowels without overdoing it. She knocks off a few decades by lightening her voice and slightly loosening the trademark clasped hands. She has to a T that focused yet faraway gaze."

If ever there was perfect casting, this has to be it.

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