Olympic opening ceremony hailed as a 'masterpiece'

Danny Boyle pulled off a spectacular coup by persuading Queen Elizabeth II to "parachute" into the Olympic stadium with James Bond.

The Oscar-winning director has received praise from across the globe for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The Times hailed the event as a "masterpiece", praising Boyle and the team for creating an "Adventurous, self-confident, playful, entertaining" opening ceremony.

Columnist Simon Barnes said:"London turned down the option to celebrate giants and supermen and power and might and chose instead to celebrate people".

The Guardian praised the film segment with James Bond (Daniel Craig) and the Queen, saying it "formed one of the highlights of Danny Boyle's tumultuously inventive opening ceremony to the 2012 Games".

It continued: "Now, thanks to Boyle, we really have seen everything."

Reaction to the opening ceremony from the media around the world was generally positive.

The New York Times said that the opening ceremony was "eccentric".

It said: "With its hilariously quirky Olympic opening ceremony, a wild jumble of the celebratory and the fanciful; the conventional and the eccentric; and the frankly off-the-wall, Britain presented itself to the world Friday night as something it has often struggled to express even to itself: a nation secure in its own post-empire identity, whatever that actually is."

The Times of India said that Boyle had created a "dazzling" spectacle, while China Daily said: "Britain's Queen Elizabeth declared the London Olympics open after playing a cameo role in a dizzying ceremony designed to highlight the grandeur and eccentricities of the nation that invented modern sport."

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