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Fantastic - plays like a medieval version of the Sopranos!
The colourful later life of England's famous "Virgin Queen." Helen Mirren takes on the role of her lifetime (she has cleared a shelf for the awards already I bet!) as Elizabeth I the last of the Tudors. Queen of England during war, peace and everything that goes in-between.
Notable support comes from Jeremy Irons, Hugh Dancy (as her later life "love interest" - the Earl of Essex), Ian McDiarmid and Patrick Malahide.
Part of the official blurb reads: "Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII, reunited a nation divided by religious strife, faced down the Spanish Armada and, after an unprecedented forty-five year reign, died one of England's best-loved monarchs. During her time as Queen, poets and playwrights wrote about her, artists painted her, composers dedicated their work to her, all contributing to the legend of GIoriana, the Virgin Queen.
But Elizabeth I looks beyond the myth, at the woman behind the crown. The woman subjected to a humiliating gynaecological examination when contemplating marrying a French prince, to ensure she was still able to have children. The woman who ran a country and yet who wasn't allowed to marry the man she loved. The woman who, in her mid-fifties, conducted a passionate affair with a man half her age, a man whose arrogance eventually led him to mount a desperate challenge for Elizabeth's throne. " Couldn't have put it better myself.
What a fantastic piece of work this is. There may be 240 minutes (the UK TV version was shown in 2*120 minutes) of it, but I wasn't bored by a single minute. Indeed I wish there had been more.
Helen Mirren might no longer be up to prancing around nude in semi-exploitation movies - so she has to turn to her acting talent. And boy what a role to get her teeth in to: One minute chamber flirt and the next a kind of Tony Soprano signing the death warrant of anyone who displeases - even if they once held special place in her heart.
I bet I am not the only one to notice the lead role is a bit like Margaret Thatcher!
A word of warning this is very bloody indeed. When someone has their head cut off the camera doesn't actually pan away. American HBO viewers look out for it in the listings or you will miss out on a treat.
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