I've read a lot of the other reviews of this movie and have to add my two cents here. Anybody critical of Glenda Jackson's portrayal of Elizabeth I is just plain wrong! If there is such a thing as reincarnation I suggest that Elizabeth came back as Glenda...not only were many of her lines historically accurate but Glenda has captured the conflict, the caprice, the indecisiveness, the intellect, the willpower, shrewdness and the brilliance of Elizabeth. Her portrayal of England's greatest queen is matched only by her own portrayal of the queen in "Elizabeth R." I guess that a trained shakespearean actress, like Glenda has been immersed in all things Elizabethan and reflects the time in general. Vanessa Redgrave, although a bit too old for the role of Mary in the earlier part of the movie did a good job at capturing Mary's character as well. The movie does well to illustrate the contrast between the women and why one was so successful, the other not. It takes license with history in that Elizabeth and Mary never met and Mary's captivity was almost two decades long. In my view one contrast, whether intentional or not, is that Mary is made to be a much more sympathetic character than Elizabeth--it seems to stress the womanliness of Mary and coldness of Elizabeth and it does quote the historically accurate line about her being barren, I think to reinforce this unfortunate contrast. Elizabeth was far more complex than portrayed and Mary was close to being an empty-headded ninny, at least in the political sense. The movie has beautiful scenery and some great shots. Well worth the watching.