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Helena Bonham Carter,
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Young Queen Margot finds herself trapped in an arranged marriage amidst a religious war between Catholics and Protestants. She hopes to escape with a new lover, but finds herself imprisoned by her powerful and ruthless family.
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
In a year overwhelmed with reminiscent films, Elizabeth rises above the rest to become one of few stunning manifestations of the Hollywood Renaissance. Certainly acknowledged by the Oscars garnering 7 nominations, Shekhar Kapur's intimate portrait of a young Elizabeth further expands the modern view on a distant monarch, whose maturing reign as well as taming nature continued to dazzle the 20th century viewers.
Presented here by a superb cast led by Golden-Globe winner Cate Blanchett, early Elizabethean era turmoil and upheaval are captured brilliantly. The lush set itself is a feast for the eye as the audience is drawn to follow a passionate young Elizabeth's path. Against the dark setting of medieval stone castles, a blooming Golden Age approaches as England expands to take control in a world of great unrest after Catholic Queen Mary's death. Her Protestant half-sister, Elizabeth daughter of Anne Bolyne is placed on a throne of a kingdom torn between religion. Cate Blanchett does a fabulous job capturing the details of a frustrated young woman waking to the merciless reality of queenhood--surrounded by enemies such as Norfolk (Christopher Eccleston). Constantly by her side is her reverent adviser Sir William Cecil (Richard Attenborough) who advises Elizabeth to marry for convenience choosing from a "pool" of ready political candidates--while Elizabeth herself is long set on her lover from the past Sir Robert Dudley (a charming Joseph Fiennes). Yet just as England learns to wake up from the medieval dream, Elizabeth learns the bitterness of betrayal as she looks to Sir Francis Walsingham (Jeffrey Rush)'s counsel.
Focusing on Elizabeth's subtle changes of phase from fire to ice at a distant in the midst of a grander panorama beautifully shot, the audience gradually distinguishes her footsteps from the shedding of innocence to a tough ruler that dares to strike first against her enemies, to ultimately become the Virgin Queen to reign above all men.
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