April 7, 2016
Director: Julian Jarrold
Cast: Sarah Gadon, Bel Powley, Emily Watson
Runtime: 97 minutes
Hamptons International Film Festival, Breakthrough Performer, Bel Powley.
British Independent Film Awards Nomination: Breakthrough Performer, Bel Powley
“A Royal Night Out is a film of enormous charm, texture and good will, thanks largely to the three leads.”—Rex Reed, New York Observer
A Royal Night Out is a spunky trifle is set in London in 1945 on VE Day when Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret were allowed to celebrate the end of WWII on the streets of London with the commoners. What really happened that night? Who really knows, but imagining what may have happened turns out to be quite a lot of fun.
The film stars Sarah Gadon as the future queen, Elizabeth aka “Lillabets”, and Bel Powley as Margaret aka “P2” because she’s like the runner-up princess. After some cajoling, King George (Rupert Everett) and the current Queen Elizabeth (Emily Watson) reluctantly give their assent. The girls are allowed to hit the streets incognito.
The movie moves vigorously through a variety of escapades, from the Ritz to Trafalgar Square to a romantic interlude watching fireworks over the city from a riverboat in the Thames. Director Julian Jerrold (Kinky Boots) captures the excitement of a liberated London after the Blitz in full patriotic splendor, enhanced by the burnished cinematography of Christophe Beaucarne and the glorious big band jazz of the period.
A Royal Night Out is a film of enormous charm. Canadian actress Sarah Gadon makes a kind, wise, and dignified Princess Elizabeth, revealing glimmers of England’s future monarch, and as the giddy, flighty Princess Margaret, Bel Powley lives up to her “Breakout Star” accolades. At the end of their remarkable adventure, their Royal Highnesses discover more about their subjects than they would ever learn behind the stately walls of a castle.