Starts October 1, 2015
Directed by: Julian Jarrold
Writing credits: Trevor de Silva, Kevin Hood
Principal actors: Sarah Gadon, Bel Powley, Jack Reynor, Rupert Everett, Emily Watson
Two teenage sisters on their own in London, at the biggest party of their lives. What could go wrong?
Princess Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) and Princess Margaret (Bel Powley) are good and tired of living in the gilded cage of Buckingham Palace, where they’ve been cooped up all during the long war. Germany has finally capitulated, and on May 8, 1945, all of Britain is celebrating VE Day. The party going on outside their gates is raucous, it’s wild, and it’s something the girls badly want to be part of. They wheedle and cajole Mum and Daddy (Emily Watson and Rupert Everett, priceless as King George VI and the Queen Mother Elizabeth), until they grudgingly permit them to escape for a few hours incognito, to rub elbows with commoners on this Very Special Occasion. But they can only go if they take two young military guards as their chaperones. Margaret is a party girl; elder sister Elizabeth is sensible and mindful of her duty. In the chaos of the celebrations, the girls evade their protectors and set out to make their own fun. But soon they’re separated among the throngs, and a horrified Elizabeth finds herself in most unfamiliar – and most unsuitable -- places, struggling to track down her wild little sister. An anti-Monarchist soldier named Jack (Jack Reynor) helps her navigate champagne-soaked back alleys in pursuit of Margaret, unaware that he’s serving as a royal escort.
A Royal Night Out is delightful, and better yet, it’s based (loosely) on fact. The actors are spot-on, the wartime London sets are marvelous, and the dialogue is witty. Take a working-class night out and go see this movie. (Brenda B.)