Two faiths, two empires, two rulers - colliding in 1588. Papist Spain wants to bring down the heretic Elizabeth. Philip is building an armada but needs a rationale to attack. With covert intrigue, Spain sets a trap for the Queen and her principal secretary, Walsingham, using as a pawn Elizabeth's cousin Mary Stuart, who's under house arrest in the North. The trap springs, and the armada sets sail, to rendezvous with French ground forces and to attack. During these months, the Virgin Queen falls in love with Walter Raleigh, keeping him close to court and away from the sea and America. Is treachery or heroism at his heart? Does loneliness await her passionate majesty? Written by
El Escorial, the Spanish King's palace, is really London's Westminster Cathedral. Since it's a functioning church, the production team had to wait until the last evening confession was done, strip the interior of everything recognizably modern, shoot every scene during the night, then put everything back in place by morning mass. See more »
When the suitors show the portrait of Eric XIV of Sweden, they show the wrong painting. The real painting, by Steven van der Meulen in 1561, shows Eric's full body in red and gold dress. See more »
Spain is the most powerful empire in the world. Philip of Spain, a devout Catholic, has plunged Europe into holy war. Only England stands against him, ruled by a Protestant Queen.
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This movie approaches the brink of becoming another corny, hokey Hollywood travesty but recovers to become an incredibly powerful and unique portrayal of Elizabeth I and her closest advisers and the political situation in Western Europe in the late 16th century. Cate Blanchett offers a masterful, powerful and provocative portrayal of the Virgin Queen which unlike most Hollywood portrayals of historical personages does not devolve into a laughable caricature. Elizabeth has feelings too and cares about ALL of her people, not just those who are of her religious persuasion. Also, the movie offers a credible portrayal of Elizabeth's relationship with her cousin Mary as well as a credible and comprehensible explanation of King Philip's decision to go to war against England. Whether Spain in 1585 was the most powerful country in the world as the movie purports is a matter for debate but the fact that there was a time in history when Spain actually wanted to invade England is amazing and is a story in itself. This movie is worth watching.
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