Elizabeth is the tale of England's first Queen Elizabeth and her rise to power. In this rich and beautiful movie, Cate Blanchett is Elizabeth, the so-called heretic Queen, who takes power after her half-sister, Mary, dies.
This movie is not as important as to what it presents, but how it presents it. With beautiful art direction and interesting filming techniques, the director delivers a strong and elegant look of the world, even though the times were a little more dark. The costumes are extraordinary and the architecture of the castles are rich and colorful.
But the movie isn't all looks. Detailed with an amazingly realistic cast, led by Cate Blanchett (who received an Oscar nomination for her role), Elizabeth has the fire power and the realism. Based on a true story, of course, the movie only looks at Elizabeth's rise of power and her early days on the throne. Surprising, actually, was that they didn't have Mary Queen of Scots actually in the movie, and their conflict was only a background storyline. The story here deals mainly with the conspirators inside Elizabeth's own court, and her rise of courage that allows her to handle with the traitors.
The only difficult part was figuring out who was who. While I did learn quite a bit about this time period last year, I don't remember anything now, and Elizabeth did not do the best job in describing the names of the people. Near the end, everything becomes clear, but the rest of the movie left me in to oblivion... Like, "who is this Mary of Guise" and "which one of those mean looking guys is The Lord of Norfolk."
The weird part in the movie, which is neither good nor bad, is where Elizabeth is practicing how she will greet the Spanish Ambassador. It is filmed much along the lines of how they have men practicing how they will ask a woman out in a comedy, a series of outtakes where she keeps on rewording - and messing up - her lines. It was sort of interesting to have in a movie such as this.
Elizabeth is a beautiful movie with great acting, strong drama, and a great telling of historical times. But why didn't Joseph Fiennes get an Oscar nomination?
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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