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
Eddie Redmayne played different roles in competing Elizabeth movies. In Elizabeth I (2005), he played the traitor Southampton. In this film he played another traitor, Thomas Babington. See more »
Before each scene in Fotheringay, where Mary, Queen of Scots, is imprisoned, the castle is surrounded by high, snow-capped Scottish mountains. Fotheringay is in Northamptonshire, one of the flattest counties in England. 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 rates as high as it does for me because of the cinematography. It is dazzling and Blanchett can't be denied, but "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" is like a chick-flick with explosions plus costumes, super hair, and loud, intrusive music. The result is faux epic.
My wife summed it up well as we left the theater: "I feel like I've just flipped through a coffee table picture book for two hours and somebody turned up the stereo." History wrote this plot but Nicholson and Hirst thought they could do better. They couldn't, or certainly didn't. Freshmen composition classes come up with better stuff. Trite, forced, predictable. Did they even run this by an expert in English history? You gotta wonder. The script is oozing with 21st century mores and clichés. It made me think (during the movie, mind you) of the way Dutch painters depicted Homer and Aristotle in the garb of 17th century Holland. Are we that dumb? Sir Walter Raleigh is a caricature and Sir Francis Drake, never properly introduced, was a throwaway. Geoffrey Rush is wasted as Walsingham. Come to think of it, nearly everybody is wasted. Every single character is underdeveloped, with the possible exception of the title characterpossible exception.
"Golden Age" set the target high and then turned and fired in the opposite direction. Realizing the script had missed, Director tried to make up for it with window dressing. Substance would have served this queen better. With the colon in the title, I almost expected to see Bruce Willis saving the day.
You can see why "Golden Age" came out in October because it's not going to compete for Oscars in categories that anybody cares about. With all the budget they had for this movie, you'd Universal could have found better writers.
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