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
The card before the end credits states, "Elizabeth reigned for another 40 years. Walsingham remained her most trusted and loyal adviser to the end". By "the end", the filmmakers apparently mean Sir Francis Walsingham's death, as he died in 1590, thirteen years before the Queen. Whatever his loyalty, Elizabeth tended to resist his advice, most famously regarding the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. See more »
The first shot of Walsingham in the film (from behind the head), is actually used twice. Just before the next shot (of his face), a sharp slit of silver can be seen heading toward Walsingham's head from the right side of the screen. However, Walsingham's servant then crosses the room, and gets a knife out of its case. When the next shot of the back of Walsingham's head is seen, this slit is the knife now being held to his throat by the servant. See more »
[regarding Elizabeth's impending reign]
Your Grace, Protestants are already returning from abroad.
Yes. And have made plans to massacre every Catholic in England. There would be butchery indeed if such a plan were even conceivable.
They say Walsingham will return from France.
Walsingham is nothing!
[aside to Norfolk's Man as he is leaving the room]
Be sure he does not.
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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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