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Elizabeth: The Golden Age
4 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Shekhar Kapur

Written By:
Michael Hirst, William Nicholson

Cate Blanchett, Morne Botes, Abbie Cornish, Jazz Dhiman, Tom Hollander, Rhys Ifans, Jordi Molla, Samantha Morton, Clive Owen, Geoffrey Rush, Eddie Redmayne, Adam Godley, Dave Legeno, Christian Brassington, Coral Beed, Robert Cambrinus, Jeremy Barker, Hayley Burroughs, Robert Cambrinus, Luke Mowatt, Vidal Sancho

Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)
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Movie Review by Douglas
December 10th, 2007

After recently watching Elizabeth on DVD, we have been anticipating the release of the sequel since we saw the trailer months ago.

Reprising their roles, Cate Blanchett stars as Elizabeth I, with Geoffrey Rush playing her trusted adviser Sir Francis Walsingham. Building off of the theme near the end of the first film, in many ways the political intrigues and impending war with Spain - culminating with the defeat of the Spanish Armada - are simply a backdrop for the main thrust of the film: Elizabeth, the "Virgin Queen," and how as Queen she has given up any ability to be a normal woman, or to be treated as one.

Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen) is her male counterpart in this film. He is adventurous, outspoken, and brave, but also honest and chivalrous (he is introduced putting a coat over a puddle for the Queen). Clearly he reminds the lonely Queen of Lord Robert (or at least his good points), the man whom she loved and was betrayed by in the first film.

Instead, Raleigh becomes involved with one of the Queen's Ladies-in-Waiting (Abbie Cornish as Bess). And meanwhile the imprisoned Mary Queen of Scots plots with King Phillip II of Spain to wage Holy War against the "bastard pretender". The intrigues seem less interesting this time around, and Walsingham isn't given as much screen time in his role as the master of deceit, spies, and dirty tricks as he was in the first film. Perhaps that was by design, as he is aging rapidly and referred to numerous times as an "old man."

It's difficult to build much suspense about the arrival of the Spanish Armada, since any schoolchild knows it was the greatest defeat in Spanish naval history. But the battle with Spain is really added scenery. Blanchett gives another stirring performance as a woman unlike any other, but who is denied those things a normal woman is permitted: love, happiness, and as Raleigh tells her, being liked for who you are instead of what you can do for someone. It is a thorny crown Elizabeth wears, and her pride can be hurt when Bess is able to aspire to dreams Elizabeth has been forced to give up in her duty as Queen.

Overall, I preferred the first film, but that doesn't mean this one isn't worth seeing. I still give it a B+ and suggest you skip the typical hype-of-the-week and instead learn more about one of the most admirable women in history.

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