In his book, A Journey, the former politician describes the British monarch's response when he became the country's leader in 1997, claiming she told him, "You are my 10th prime minister. The first was Winston. That was before you were born."
Playing out the same scene in the 2006 movie, Dame Helen Mirren, who plays Queen Elizabeth II, tells Michael Sheen's character Blair, "You are my 10th prime minister, Mr Blair. My first was Winston Churchill."
But Morgan has been left confused by Blair's memoirs, because he invented the conversation and believes Blair must have copied his take on it.
He tells Britain's Daily Telegraph, "I wish I could pretend that I had inside knowledge, but I made up those lines. No minutes are taken of meetings between prime ministers and monarchs and the convention is that no one ever speaks about them, so I didn't even attempt to find out what had really been said.
"There are three possibilities. The first is I guessed absolutely perfectly, which is highly unlikely; the second is Blair decided to endorse what I imagined as the official line; and the third is that he had one gin and tonic too many and confused the scene in the film with what had actually happened, and this I find amusing because he always insisted he had never even seen it."
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
Claire is an attractive CIA operative and Ray is an M16 agent who simultaneously leave their Governmental spy activities in the dust to try and profit from a battle between two rival multi-national corporations both trying to launch a new product that will transform the world and make billions. Their goal is to secure the top-secret formula and get a patent before they are outsmarted. While their respective egomaniacal CEOs engage in an unending battle of wills and one-upmanship Claire and Ray start out conning and playing one another in a clever game of industrial espionage that is even more complicated due to their own long-term romantic relationship.
WHO’S IN IT?
Reuniting Closer co-stars Julia Roberts (as Claire) and Clive Owen (as Ray) turns out to be an inspired idea. They turn out to be the perfect pair oozing movie-star charm and electricity in this elaborate con-game that might have been the kind of thing Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant might have made in the '60s (in fact they did in Charade). Roberts with that infamous hairstyle back the way we like it and Owen looking great in sunglasses prove they have what it takes to navigate us through this ultra-complex plot in which no one is sure who they can trust at any given moment. They play it all in high style and the wit just flows as the story skirts back and forth during the period of five years. The supporting cast is well-chosen with juicy roles for Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti (out of their John Adams duds) as the two CEOs going for each other’s throats. Giamatti who sometimes has a tendency to overdo it is especially slimy here and great fun to watch.
Big-star studio movies today rarely take risks and often talk down to the audience but in Duplicity writer/director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) has crafted a complicated con-comedy that requires complete attention at all times just to keep up with the dense plot’s twists and turns. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a New York Times crossword puzzle and Gilroy and his top-drawer production team deliver a glossy beautiful-looking film that’s easy on the eyes hitting locations from Dubai to Rome to New York City.
Like any good puzzle it sometimes can be frustrating putting it all together and Gilroy’s habit of taking us back in time and then inching forward gets a little confusing even with the on-screen chyron pointing out where we are at any given moment. Stick with it though and you will be well-rewarded.
A scene near the end where the formula must be found scanned and faxed in a matter of minutes is sweat-inducing edge-of-your-seat moviemaking and it provides the ultimate opportunity for Roberts and Owen to take the “con” to the next level. Another where Roberts uses a thong to try and trick Owen into admitting an affair he never had is also priceless and gets right to the heart of the game-playing.
GO OUT AND GET POPCORN WHEN ...
Never. Stock up during the coming attractions. If you miss a moment of this entertaining romp you might never figure it all out.
Thousands of mourners gathered Friday in Manhattan for a funeral procession and memorial service for the late singer Aaliyah. Celebrities such as Sean "Puffy" Combs, Mike Tyson, Lil' Kim, Missy Elliot and Jay-Z attended. Aaliyah's casket was displayed in a horse-drawn carriage with glass sides, followed by five limousines draped in flower arrangements. Twenty-two white doves were released into the air following the service at St. Ignatius Loyola Church. Aaliyah died Aug. 25 in a plane crash in the Bahamas.
Walker, Texas Ranger star Chuck Norris and wife Gena welcomed twins on Thursday: a boy, Dakota Alan, and a girl, Danilee Kelley. Though the twins were born a month premature, there were no complications, according to The Associated Press.
Carson Daly's latest request: for Motorola to pay him $1 million. The MTV VJ, host of Total Request Live, Daly is suing the electronics company for allegedly backing out of an advertising deal for Daly to promote Motorola's line of cell phones. Motorola claims it could not pay Daly the sum due to economic woes within the company. A Motorola spokeswoman told AP that no contract between Daly and the company existed.
The five cast members of CBS' Becker who have disputed their contracts with the show's production company, Paramount Network Television, have settled their conflict out of court. According to Reuters, the fivesome--Terry Farrell, Alex Desert, Shawnee Smith, Saverio Guerra and Hattie Winston--filed suit against Paramount on Tuesday, but all parties have reached an undisclosed agreement. Paramount issued a statement on the matter, saying that the five actors simply suffered from "misunderstandings and miscommunication regarding Paramount policy."
Actress Anne Heche will speak about her long history of mental instability with Barbara Walters on Wednesday's installment of 20/20. According to ABC reports, Heche will reveal that she suffered traumatically from years of sexual abuse by her father and that she has an alter ego, named Celestia, who's from another planet and speaks to God. Heche also will reveal that she was insane during her relationship with Ellen DeGeneres.
Elizabeth Taylor, Nicole Kidman and model Claudia Schiffer scolded the world's young people Friday for turning their backs on the AIDS epidemic, according to Reuters. ``It is the most powerful thing in my life and I will fight until there is a cure,'' Taylor said at the Venice Film Festival. Speaking about today's youth, she said, "They don't like to use condoms because it doesn't feel so good. But death feels even worse." Kidman, however, soon let her thoughts turn to ex-hubby Tom Cruise. When reporters at the festival asked her what sort of man she's looking for now, the actress dissed Cruise by saying, "I'll take a tall man."
Singer Victoria Beckham, best known as Spice Girl "Posh," has told Reuters that she blames former Spice Girl Geri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell for instilling a weight-problem insecurity within her, going so far as to say: "Geri would say things such as don't put sauces on food, that low-fat things were just as good and that I could try not eating so much.'' Because of Halliwell's scrutiny, Beckham said she began to not eat altogether while the girl group was still together.
The article of clothing that embodied Sex Pistols lead singer Johnny Rotten's political philosophy--the famous "Anarchy" T-shirt--will go on the auction block Sept. 20 at Sotheby's. The white cotton shirt is expected to nab about $4,350. The shirt is part of a collection owned by Helen Wellington-Lloyd, who once lived with Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, Reuters said.