Review: Elizabeth: The Golden Age


In lieu of going skating with Joey and Whitney yesterday, I put Maria down for a nap and watched Cate Blanchett reprise her role as Good Queen Bess in Elizabeth: The Golden Age. As the story opens, it's 1585, and Elizabeth has been on the throne 27 years. Still, intrigues surround her throne, as the Catholic Spain seeks to remove "the bastard whore" from the throne and put Mary Stuart ("Queen of Scots") in her place, or so it seems.

For all it's star power (Blanchett, Clive Owen as Sir Walter Raleigh, Geoffrey Rush as Sir Francis Walsingham, and so on), this film is static and distant. It's The Lion in Winter without the irony. Where the first Elizabeth was a gripping tale of a girl becoming queen, in this episode, we see the queen fully realized, and the action revolving around her. Sure, there's plenty of pithy dialog, great costumes, and history galore, but the central human story isn't there. This is the story of a country (personified in Elizabeth herself) ascending to world domination. That's an outstanding premise for a PBS or A&E documentary, not a feature-length film.

Where the first movie transcends, this sequel left me cold.

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