ACMI and the Victorian Seniors Festival present
Elizabeth: A Portrait in Parts
A kaleidoscopic, revelatory portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, made to celebrate the British monarch’s Jubilee year.
Combines archive footage with a welcome sense of mischief... there’s an informality and intimacy to this portrait that is unexpectedly pleasing.
With his last screen credit before succumbing to illness in September 2021, Roger Michell – the famed director of The Mother, Notting Hill and The Duke –has gifted audiences an impressionistic, uplifting and thoroughly modern documentary about Queen Elizabeth II; a cinematic swansong that will serve his legacy – in a long and celebrated career in (mostly) British film – very well.
Eschewing narration or a strict adherence to chronology, Michell’s marvelously well-assembled mosaic portrait nevertheless offers a comprehensive overview of the remarkable life of the beloved British monarch, covering her years as a young royal during WWII, coronation at only twenty-five years of age, in 1952, and her seven-decade reign as the longest serving female head of state in history. With extraordinary access to rare footage from the Royal Archives, Michell also incorporates footage that captures the monarch in relaxed and unguarded moments, and which offer disarming and endearing glimpses of the seemingly imperturbable monarch away from the glare and scrutiny of official duties.
“While not quite treasonous in its editing choices, there is a certain degree of affectionate mischief at play”, writes film journalist Wendy Ide in The Guardian, in the selection of fascinating clips from private home movies, behind-the-scenes and newsreel footage assembled in “breezily captioned chapters” with pithy titles such as ‘Citizens of Rome’, ‘A ticklish sort of job’, ‘Heavy is the head’, ‘Don’t Let’s Be Beastly to the Germans’, and ‘Horribilis’. The portrait that emerges is, ultimately, one of a diligent, dutiful and devoted monarch and mother, but also one that offers glimpses of a high-spirited individual who has served with unimpeachable civility, discipline and grace.
See below for additional related events
Occasional coarse language
COVIDSafe visitor guidelines, information on accessibility, amenities, transport, dining options and more.
Our restaurant, cafe and bar features a seasonally driven menu developed by acclaimed Melbourne chef, Karen Martini.