Mrs. Brown ★★★ Her Majesty Mrs. Brown 1997 (PG)
Unusual drama finds Queen Victoria (Dench), bereft by the death of Prince Albert, withdrawing from public life to her Scottish retreat at Balmoral. There she's looked after by coarse highlander John Brown (Connolly), who encourages her to take an interest in life. As he rises in the Queen's esteem, the brash commoner begins to become overly protective of her; leading to whispers of an affair. The powers-that-be, including the Prince of Wales (Westhead) and the oily Prime Minister Disraeli (Sher), then must persuade Brown to withdraw from her company in order to preserve her reputation. Merely hints at what may or may not have been a sexual relationship between the two, but isn't that the Victorian way? 103m/C VHS, DVD . GB Judi Dench, Billy Connolly, Geoffrey Palmer, Anthony Sher, Richard Pasco, Gerard Butler, David Westhead; D: John Madden; W: Jeremy Brock; C: Richard Greatrex; M: Stephen Warbeck. British Acad. ‘97: Actress (Dench), Costume Des.; Golden Globes ‘98: Actress—Drama (Dench).