Elizabeth (Spotlight Series)
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As others have noted, this film is entertainment, not history. The writer(s) mixed fact with pure fancy, and compressed many authentic episodes that occured over 40 or so years into the beginning of the reign. Walsingham did not kill Marie de Guise, nor did he oust Cecil as Elizabeth's primary advisor. Robert Dudley was not involved in any murder plot. I won't bore you with the rest of the laundry list.
I think it only fair to point out that in my opinion, despite the inaccuracies, the writer(s) did manage to give a fairly accurate view of some major aspects of Elizabeth I's entire reign. She did use possible marriage as a political tool. And she was damned adept at doing so. Elizabeth did have a more moderate religious policy than either of her two predecessors.
The movie is worth watching. And, if seeing it whets your curiosity, read any of the several popular level biographies of
Elizabeth I. Alison Weir's _The Life of Elizabeth I_ is very well written.
The movie begins in 1554, in an England that is bitterly divided on the issue of religion. Ruled by Mary Tudor, Henry the VIII's oldest daughter and a devout catholic, protestants are being burned at the stake as heretics, giving rise to Mary's popular name, "Bloody Mary". Reviled by her Spanish husband and in poor health, Mary is badgered by her advisors to do away with Elizabeth, her considerably younger, bastard half-sister. This Mary will not do, no matter how pressed. Still, Elizabeth lives her life with the sword of Damocles hanging over her head at all times.
When Mary dies, Elizabeth takes the throne, no more than a mere slip of a girl wearing the crown of England. Her advisors look to guide her, and she follows their lead, until she determinedly takes control of the reins of power, and follows her own counsel with the help of her most trusted advisor, Francis Walsingham, played to cunning perfection by Geoffrey Rush. With his help, she is able to fend off the ever present threats to her hold on the throne of England, not just from her own courtiers, but from Marie de Guise, Queen of Scotland, deliciously played by Fanny Ardent.
In the film one sees the transformation of Elizabeth take place.Read more ›
Unfortunately, the film does not entirely succeed. Elizabeth reigned for 44 years, an extremely long time. Her maturation and the development of her status as a national icon were shaped by a series of trials, both political and personal, that took place over the course of multiple decades. It would be nearly impossible to accurately show all this in a 2-hour movie. "Elizabeth" suffers from the fact that the makers of the film simply tried to cram too much material into the 124 minutes they had to work with.Read more ›
Looking back at Elizabeth's reign, we see less a woman than an icon; the symbol of what her rule has come to stand for.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love historically based movies! Cate Blanchett did a great job with presenting the quirky character.Published 1 day ago by Love to Learn
great movie would have been nice with some voice over to explain the individuals.Published 5 days ago by William Rawlinson
Excellent acting, good script. Best for those with a strong stomach and historical interest. It portrays a more brutal society than today.Published 1 month ago by Francis Laroue