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The 45-year reign of Britain's first Queen Elizabeth remains, centuries later, one of the most dramatic in the country's long and turbulent history. Called the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth ascended the throne when her country was near collapse, but her ultimate legacy was distinguished by military might and cultural brilliance. Noted historian David Starkey narrates this riveting examination of a stalwart woman, her struggles, and her triumphs. Lavish reenactments enhance the incisive commentary, and the result is erudite entertainment. 3 hours 20 min. on 4 cassettes or 2 DVDs.
One of the big Elizabethan-era films of 1998, Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth serves up a brimming goblet of religious tension, political conspiracy, sex, violence, and war. England in 1554 is in financial and religious turmoil as the ailing Queen "Bloody" Mary attempts to restore Catholicism as the national faith. She has no heir, and her greatest fear--that her Protestant half-sister Elizabeth will assume the throne after her death--is realized. Still, the late Queen Mary has her loyalists. The newly crowned Elizabeth finds herself knee-deep in dethroning schemes while also dodging assassination attempts. Her advisers (including Sir William Cecil, superbly played by Richard Attenborough) beg her to marry any one of her would-be suitors to stabilize England's empire. No matter that she already has a lover. The passionate Robert Dudley (Joseph Fiennes) is married, however, and shows he cannot stand up to the growing strength of the Queen. With the help of her aide Walsingham (Geoffrey Rush), Elizabeth strikes against her enemies before they get to her first. But her rise ultimately entails rejecting love and marriage to redefine herself as the indisputable Virgin Queen.
Cate Blanchett's Oscar-nominated performance as the naive and vibrant princess who becomes the stubborn and knowing queen is both severe and sympathetic. Her ethereal, pale beauty is equal parts fire and ice, her delivery of such lines as "There will be only one mistress here and no master!" expressed with command rather than hysterics. As striking as Blanchett's performance is the film's lavish and dramatic production design. The cold, dark sets paired with the lush costuming show the golden age of England's monarchy emerging from the Middle Ages. Rich velvet brushes over the dank stones while power is achieved at any price, and with such attention to physical detail, Elizabeth fully immerses you into its compelling chronicle of pioneering feminism and revisionist history. --Shannon Gee
This is one of my favorite pictures of all time. Yes it's broken and not so accurate in term of historical perspective, but it has Cate Blanchett and Ralph Fiennes. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Zulma Christian
Okay. Good acting but lurid and unrealistic fare. A lot of focus on romance and not so much on actual history and politics. Read morePublished 14 days ago by shootmenow
One of the best movies ever. I adore Cate Blanchett and the supporting cast is fabulous!Published 15 days ago by Denise Kawkeka
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I just checked and not all of the HD DVDs are 1/2 off. Many of the ones I want are still $27.95. How is that dumping? I call it a regular sale of SOME titles. That is what I make of this...
Feb 7, 2008 by Moray | See all 7 posts
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