The Virgin Queen explores the full sweep of Elizabeth's life: from her days of fear as a potential victim of her sister's terror; through her great love affair with Robert Dudley; into her ... See full summary »
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Helena Bonham Carter,
When Elizabeth Tudor comes to the throne, her (male) advisors know she has to marry. Doesn't she? Thus starts a decades-long political/ matrimonial game, during an age of high passions and ... See full summary »
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The Virgin Queen explores the full sweep of Elizabeth's life: from her days of fear as a potential victim of her sister's terror; through her great love affair with Robert Dudley; into her years of triumph over the Armada; and finally her old age and her last, enigmatic relationship with her young protégé, the Earl of Essex. Written by
Robert Dudley - Earl of Leicester:
If I am exiled they will see it as proof of my guilt, I'm done for!
[Elizabeth is unmoved]
Robert Dudley - Earl of Leicester:
All these months you kept me close you were using me. Playing with me for your own callous ends as you do all men! So long as I was married you were safe, and now I am free you spurn me! If I leave I won't return, Bess. It will be the last time you ever see me.
Queen Elizabeth I:
[He turns to leave]
I will have but one mistress here, and no master! Do you hear me? I will have no man rule over me!
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Retelling a story in history in the framework of film can be tricky business and Masterpiece Theatre's The Virgin Queen doesn't attempt to adhere to accuracy in the slightest. But, if you're like me, you would love to experience the story of Queen Elizabeth a thousands times over in a thousand ways, and this film richly succeeds in it's own right.
I have never seen such accurate costuming, beautiful sets or clever a soundtrack in any Elizabethan film (Oh my God, the soundtrack). Royal stoicism is put aside in lieu of emotive imagery. More than many films of this historical powerhouse, I appreciate the attention paid to the human side of Queen Eliazabeth--her vanity, weakness for the opposite sex (considering her royal responsibilities), and infamous indecisiveness.
I could have done without the laughably overblown Casa Nova characterization of Lord Robert Dudley (Tom Hardy, ). He came off as a retired Backstreet Boy, looked far too young for the part, and portrayed none of the cultivated finesse that those familiar with the real man know, in-turn, leaving the audience wondering what about this man is worth the scandal.
If you have any interest in a new take of Elizabeth's life since the 1998 film Elizabeth, I truly recommend this mini-series. For a more historically accurate glance of the time period in England, check out BBC's Elizabeth (1971) starring Glenda Jackson.
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