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This film details the ascension to the throne and the early reign of Queen Elizabeth the First, as played by Cate Blanchett. The main focus is the endless attempts by her council to marry her off, the Catholic hatred of her and her romance with Lord Robert Dudley. Written by
After the unsuccessful assassination attempt, when Elizabeth is being tended by her ladies, she is shown standing, yet the very next shot has her sitting. See more »
Invite the Duke of Anjou. We shall see him in flesh.
[She runs after Lord Robert, who is not happy with the news]
Monsieur de Foix:
The Duke will not take kindly to a rival for his suit.
Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley:
He is a traitor and his father before him. Lord Robert's head will end up on a spike, not on the pillow of a Queen.
See more »
Elizabeth is an exceedingly poor movie, and this is coming from someone who always watches a movie with an open mind and almost always has something good to say about a movie. The basic intention of any movie is to tell a story, and the story that is told in Elizabeth is not only inaccurate, it is also dull and boring. Historical accuracy means little to me when watching a film, as long as it can be comprehended. But this movie is not, and too many times fails in telling the story of the "Virgin Queen". I felt like reaching into the screen and asking why certain scenes were portrayed in the fashion that they were, the disconnected plot and movable characters defeat the purpose of telling a story about perhaps the most formidable monarch in English history.
Cate Blanchett is an exceptional young actress, who can be appreciated for her portrayal of Elizabeth, a woman who was confronted with suitors and questions regarding her faith. But in my opinion, continuity in the film was completely missing, and limited Cate's ability to bring her character to life. The lack of intensity in the film is startling when considering the subject matter and how important it was at the time. Many times it seemed as if the actors were begging to be allowed to act to their full capacity, while the script dictated that they could not.
With all the above said, it remains a fact that all of the actors in the film are exceptional and make the best of what they are given. Geoffrey Rush steals the show as Walsingham, who seeks to do all he can to protect his Queen. Joseph Fiennes as Dudley shows a man who loves Elizabeth but cannot ever marry her. As told in the movie, we learn that Elizabeth never knew he was already married. While in reality she did know, this fact does not harm the intrigue the two of them have while Elizabeth tries to secure her throne while loving Dudley at the same time. Kathy Burke does a great job as Mary Tudor, the miserable Queen who sought to convert her half-sister Elizabeth before she could ascend to the throne to replace her and her religion. Richard Attenborough as Cecil is limited by the character he is given, but stresses the reality of the time, once you become King or Queen, you are bound to your state. In the end, when Elizabeth declares herself the "Virgin Queen", and her service to England, Cecil's once trivial line becomes reality. The Duke of Norfolk's service to Mary Tudor and intrigues to overthrow Elizabeth are well portrayed by the commanding presence of Christopher Eccleston, who in the end signs away his life trying to take Elizabeth's.
After reading all of the praises I have for the acting in the movie, we must return to the reality that the film could have been better if told by a different director and with a different script. There is no denying the costume design, setting, and music are all well crafted and help to tell the intended story. But too many times the audience is left to imagine what could have been, and this is what I feel makes many label Elizabeth as a great movie. Too much is forced into this telling of the legendary Queen of England, and many people see it for what it could have been, not what it is: actors without direction or a well-crafted story to tell.
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