It is no surprise that the Jubilee year would see at least one new documentary on the impressive 70-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Elizabeth: A Portrait in Part(s) was directed by Roger Michell, who died in September 2021 and is thus his last project.
The documentary unfolds under several headings, such as Mummy, Horribilis and In the Saddle and is not traditionally chronological. Instead, each part comes with an interesting mix of music and archival footage, making it more theatrical than a documentary. It’s fun and quirky, but it still manages to stay critical of the subject at hand.
We go from the preparations of a formal banquet to a cheering and relaxed Queen at the races. Some of the footage was new to me, which was a pleasant surprise indeed. There are, of course, mentions of the Windsor Castle fire and the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Also included is the more recent Prince Andrew interview. Yet, throughout all the ups and downs, the Queen remains at the centre of it all.
This modern documentary manages to capture the spirit of a steadfast woman, though its quirky nature may not appeal to everyone. Nevertheless, it’s certainly something different and is a welcome addition to what is already an impressive collection of Jubilee media.
Elizabeth: A Portrait in Part(s) is set for a theatrical release in the UK on 3 June, with no known release date yet for the US.