- The Washington Times - Friday, August 12, 2011

At 66, Helen Mirren looks stunning and is still landing major Hollywood roles. The Oscar-winning British actress stars in a new version of “Brighton Rock,” to be released in American theaters Aug. 19. John Hurt and Andy Serkis star alongside Miss Mirren in this version of Graham Greene’s classic novel. This week The List looks at Miss Mirren’s 10 best movies.

  • 10. “White Nights” (1985) - Miss Mirren plays a former Russian ballerina who seeks to tempt defector Mikhail Baryshnikov to dance at the Kirov. With her father being of Russian origins, the part wasn’t that hard for Miss Mirren, who was born Helen Lydia Mironoff.
  • 9. “The Mosquito Coast” (1986) - This film, starring Harrison Ford as an eccentric and dogmatic inventor in the South American jungle, may have bombed with audiences but Miss Mirren was excellent as Mr. Harrison’s wife.
  • 8. “State of Play” (2009) - Miss Mirren is deliciously biting as an acerbic British editor in this fine adaptation of the British miniseries. Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck also star in this slick political thriller.
  • 7. “Last Orders” (2001) - Miss Mirren is part of ensemble cast that includes Bob Hoskins, Michael Caine and Tom Courtenay, that begins in a London pub where a quartet of mourners meet in preparation to scatter the ashes of a recently deceased friend to wind and sea, in accord with his dying wishes.
  • 6. “The Madness of King George” (1994) - Miss Mirren plays the devoted queen of King George III who shows signs of dementia in the 1780s. She was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar for the role as the Hanoverian Queen Charlotte.
  • 5. “O Lucky Man!” (1973) - Miss Mirren plays a beautiful and rich aristocrat alongside Malcolm McDowell in this comedy-fantasy drama directed by Lindsay Anderson.
  • 4. “Gosford Park” (2001) - Playing a commoner who had acquired a formidable air of authority, Miss Mirren is the supervisor of the house servants at an English country estate. She was nominated for the best supporting actress Academy Award for the part.
  • 3. “Excalibur” (1981) - Evil has never looked so good. Miss Mirren plays Morgana in John Boorman’s offbeat but excellent 1981 take on the Arthurian legend.
  • 2. “The Long Good Friday” (1980) - Directed by John Mackenzie, Miss Mirren stars as London Docklands gangster Bob Hoskins’ classy, ice-cold wife. Miss Mirren is brilliant in the film, which is widely acknowledged as one of Britain’s greatest gangster movies. The ending startled moviegoers who were left begging for a sequel.
  • 1. “The Queen” (2006) - This is Miss Mirren’s greatest role, and one for which she won her Oscar. In a predictably savvy performance, she plays Queen Elizabeth II in a film that details the days around Aug. 31, 1997, when Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash.

Compiled by John Haydon

Sources: amctv.com, allmovieportal.com, Associated Press, The Washington Times, Wikipedia and movies.toptenreviews.com.