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Elizabeth - The Golden Age (Widescreen Edition)

A movie directed by Shekhar Kapur

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A Visual Feast, A Tedious Film

  • Feb 8, 2008
ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE isn't golden. Expectations were high after Cate Blanchett's first foray in 1998 as Elizabeth I, but somehow this follow-up film, with the same director (Shekhar Kapur) and writer (Michael Hirst with assistance from William Nicholson), does not reach those heights. Visually stunning, with an endless array of knockout costumes for Blanchett, special effects and scenery as majestic as any that have been photographed by fine cinematographer Remie Adefarasin and a musical score by Craig Armstrong and AR Rahman - all of these fine attributes cannot cover the weak script and the general lack of character development that hampers the usually exceptional core of actors.

The portion of Elizabeth's history covered by the film is the battle with Spain, England being the only country not participating in the Holy War in Europe under the direction of King Philip II of Spain (Jordi MollĂ ), complete with the surprise decimation of the approaching Spanish Armada due to the heroism and commitment of Elizabeth with her people. The surrounding events include Elizabeth's dalliance with Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen) and the traumatic (for Elizabeth) beheading of Mary Stuart (Samantha Morton), under the advisement of Elizabeth's trusted Sir Francis Walsingham (Geoffrey Rush).

Blanchett is a consummate actress and manages to inhabit the persona of Elizabeth as much with her glances and body language and silences as with the meager material from the script. She IS a Queen reborn. The remainder of the cast is adequate though shallow, and while each has very little to say they maintain an atmosphere of Elizabethan England. This is a DVD that could well be watched without the soundtrack and still be entertaining for the visual splendors. It could have been so much more. Grady Harp, February 08

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More Elizabeth: The Golden Age reviews
review by . November 16, 2008
In this sequel to Shekhar Kapur's 1998 Elizabeth, The Golden Age addresses Elizabeth's status in 1585, faced with war with Spain and the fate of her cousin, Mary Stuart, ousted from the Scottish throne and seeking Elizabeth's aid in reclaiming her rightful place. While plotting treachery against England, Stuart (Samantha Morton) enjoys the freedom to send secret missives to Spain. And Philip II of Spain (Jordi Molla) schemes to deliver the rigors of the Inquisition to England and banish Elizabeth …
review by . November 15, 2008
One good thing about movies based on historical events is that you don't have to worry too much about spoilers. This movie is a tad fuzzy on accuracy, with artistic license taking preference over history, but you can't hide the fact that it's really great on the period costumes and the talent pool assembled for the lead roles.     Cate Blanchett can ace any role she decides to take, and when you add hunky Clive Owen and charismatic Geoffrey Rush, you have a dream cast to work …
review by . March 23, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Costumes and set      Cons: Everything other than costumes and sets      The Bottom Line: Whether history buff or drama lover, this film will fail on all fronts. Like very pretty dresses, the film will impress.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.      Elizabeth: The Golden Age is a lie, gilded yes, golden, not even close. It is also the not quite awaited sequel …
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Ranked #42
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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Nearly a decade after Cate Blanchett drew the attention of audiences and critics alike with ELIZABETH, the Oscar-winning actress returns to the role of the Virgin Queen. Though the protestant ruler has been on the throne for decades in 1585, Elizabeth I's reign is still under attack from both inside her country and from the continent. Her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots (Samantha Morton), carries the favor of the nation's Catholics as she schemes for the throne from prison, while Spain's King Philip II (Jordi Molla) plots an invasion with the power of his famous armada. But Elizabeth is also concerned with the arrival of Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen), a charming pirate and adventurer. Unable to reconcile her feelings with her crown, she encourages Bess (Abbie Cornish), her beloved lady-in-waiting, to pursue a relationship with Raleigh. <br> <br> Nine years haven't dulled Blanchett's ability to play this--or any other--character with an impressive range of fire and tenderness. Her chemistry with the infin...

In 1998'sElizabeth, Shekhar Kapur added a layer of suds to his history lesson; the director follows the same audience-pleasing recipe inElizabeth: The Golden Age. Since the first film, Blanchett scored an Oscar for her note-perfect rendition of Katharine Hepburn inThe Aviator, and she plays the preternaturally bemused monarch in a similar fashion. By 1585, Elizabeth I is an experienced ruler about to face two of her biggest challenges: ...
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Director: Shekhar Kapur
Genre: Drama
Release Date: October 12, 2007
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: February 5, 2008
Runtime: 114 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
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