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King Philip ll of Spain (Jordi MollĂ ) wants the throne of England for his daughter Isabella and conspires with a group of Jesuits to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I of England (Cate Blanchett). Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots (Samantha Morton) is also involved in the “English Enterprise”.
Queen Elizabeth meanwhile is busy with rejecting potential husbands and flirting with Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen), who fascinates the Virgin Queen with his tales from the New World and the oceans – and with his honesty and straightforwardness.
The assassination plot fails, and Elizabeth has no other choice than to agree to Mary Stuart’s beheading because of high treason, and that’s Philip’s raison de la guerre. Sacrificing the woods of Spain, Philip has ordered to build a fleet of war ships for an invasion of England – the Spanish Armada.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age is less a historic epic (actually it’s historically quite inaccurate) than a medieval soap-opera, concentrating more on the (fictitious) relationship between Queen Elizabeth and the pirate Sir Walter Raleigh, with Elizabeth Throckmorton (Abbie Cornish) completing a love triangle, than on the conflict between Catholics and Protestants and Spain and England. Costume and production designs are as well worth seeing as the always great Cate Blanchett, and Clive Owen is a convincingly charming and dashing pirate, but unfortunately, their Elizabeth and Raleigh are virtually the only normal people in this movie, while most other characters (especially the evil ones) are hardly more than caricatures.
Lush production values and flashes of brilliant performances are regrettably not enough to outweigh a poor script, so Elizabeth: The Golden Age is watchable and even enjoyable due to Cate Blanchett and the elaborate custome and set design, but that alone doesn’t make a great film.

Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth: The Golden Age  Forbidden love - Clive Owen and Abbie Cornish 

Elizabeth: The Golden Age movie trailer

One Response to “ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE by Shekhar Kapur”

  1. itsvery Movie Review Blog - Independent Film Reviews » THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL by Justin Chadwick Says:

    […] A historical drama (but not an epic), The Other Boleyn Girl concentrates on the fortunes and misfortunes of two sisters (Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman) and their ever-changing relationships to each other, their family and King Henry VIII. Traded like cattle for the advancement of men by their father and uncle, both sisters still develop strong personalities and try hard to follow their own path. Treachery, intrigues, love, hate and ambitions determine the fates of the unequal sisters, and both actresses use the opportunity to convince. Scarlett Johansson is touching as the modest, pure Mary who knows her place but is so much stronger than she seems – she is able to forgive the inexcusable and to fight like a lioness when necessary. And Natalie Portman is better than ever as the prickteasing Ann who wants to fly too high and has to pay dearly for her unlimited ambitions and overestimation of her capabilities. The supporting roles are acted in varying grades of quality, but camerawork, set decoration and costumes will not disappoint. Overall, The Other Boleyn Girl is a worthy “prequel” to Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. […]

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