Elizabeth
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Customer Reviews:

  • Elizabeth
    I love this movie and watch it over and over it is done very well and a great story....more info
  • Some Good, Some Bad
    Elizabeth / B000RF7XYO

    I love Tudor history, but I'm realistic enough to expect a Tudor movie to not be very historically accurate, so I went into Elizabeth with a pretty open mind, knowing that "history" and "entertainment" rarely meet in Hollywood. I'd have to say that "Elizabeth" does a fair job, but the movie definitely has its faults.

    Blanchett performs wonderfully as Elizabeth and seems made for the role. I would have preferred that Elizabeth be portrayed as more composed and less nervous, which would be both historically accurate and equally entertaining to me, but I suppose that the filmmakers wanted Blanchett's nervous performance to reflect Elizabeth's inner turmoil. I'm sure it is very difficult to play a calm persona whilst conveying inner uncertainty.

    Similar complaints abound for Elizabeth's indiscretion in scenes where she openly sleeps with Dudley while her ladies-in-waiting watch nearby - I would venture to guess that the whole scene is supposed to be Hollywood-shorthand for their unrequited love, but the ridiculousness of the scene is a little jarring, and I cannot understand why the directors didn't at least introduce a little more secrecy to the scene.

    The scenes where Elizabeth comes into her own with gentle barbs and quiet cajoling of her parliament are beautifully handled and are wonderful to behold. Blanchett manages to convey just the right amount of humility and control, humor and iron will to make the scene convincing. Elizabeth's concerns about marriage are conveyed clearly and distinctly, as she frets over the inevitability of losing her power, should she wed. And the scenes where Elizabeth struggles with the realities of power, with the necessities of ruthlessness and aloofness, are perfectly conveyed.

    I do wish, however, that the movie had employed a little more cunning and subtlety on Elizabeth's part. Historically, she managed to play several suitors on a string while she quietly built her country's defenses and earned her right to independence, yet this subtlety is not conveyed here. Regularly and loudly, she protests that she will never marry, and we see almost nothing of the Spanish suitor whose armada would fare so badly and so infamously against Elizabeth's navy. I was disappointed that none of this came across.

    Overall, this is a decent movie, entertaining enough and with enough kind-of-historical merit to be pleasant to Tudor lovers. I probably wouldn't watch this movie again, though, outside of a one time rental.

    Oddly, the movie information on the Amazon page lists that English subtitles are included, but the version I received from Blockbuster Online did *not* have English captions for the hard of hearing, only French and Spanish subtitles, so caveat emptor....more info
  • Empowering
    I like films about inner and outer transformations, especially when it's about a woman who has to fight to stand up for her ideals and to defend the idea that a woman too can be a ruler. The last scene where she becomes the "virgin queen" is especially haunting. In truth, a film that is empowering for women everywhere. ...more info
  • A small nudge in the direction of romanticism...
    And Elizabeth did whisper Robert Dudley's name on her deathbed... The movie is an imaginative interpretation of the way that things could have been...

    Shekhar Kapur's film explores the instabilities of her reign, and the absolute horror and terror that surrounded the early part of her royal office without neglecting her relationship with her terminally ill sister... So it's a glimpse of her girlhood into statehood, and the shedding that occurs, with the people who expended in her life along the way...

    The film shows Elizabeth growing up in an incredibly unstable, tumultuous environment... But she's an absolute survivor... Someone who has got no solid ground on which she walks... So one minute she's a bastard, the next minute she's a princess, then one moment she's an illegitimate daughter, then she's a queen... And it's a very relevant period of her life, because she was 25 when she became a female monarch...

    There are four men in Elizabeth's life and all have quite different influences on what it means for a young woman to run the country so young, given that she comes to the throne under very difficult political circumstances...

    There's Sir Cecil (Attenborough) who's from an older regime giving her the traditions and the conventions that are the most orthodox; Sir Francis (Geoffrey Rush) Elizabeth's great spy master, very astute, almost puritanical and rather dry bureaucrat; Robert Dudley (Fiennes) with whom the film suggests that she has quite a passionate, private relationship; and Norfolk (Eccleston), a major rival who doesn't regard that she is suitable to rule his England...

    The motion picture succeeds in developing Elizabeth's change and, basically, locks off parts of herself, and dehumanizes herself in order to wield her power among men... ...more info
  • Elizabeth
    It has been about 4 days since I have seen the movie and can't remember that much about this one. I guess that tells how much I liked the movie. It was ok and the special effects were ok as well. I would however recommend Elizabeth: The Golden Age over this one anytime. I still would recommend buying the cheapest version of either movie since I don't think you will remember either one for a long time. I did give the Golden Age higher marks as it did have a better storyline....more info
  • A great buy
    This is one of my favorite movies. It is amazing to watch the character visibly grow up from a young frightened girl to the powerful queen whose riegn is called the "Golden Age". The music and costumes are both amazing, the dialogue is witty and the use of historical quotes brings a sense of authenticity to the film. If women such as Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great, or Cleopatra interest you this film will definately be for you....more info
  • Over-rated, over-acted, was there a director?
    Part music video, part historical epic? Some of the film's shots were inexplicable: circling ministers shot from above--why??? Straightforward shot? make up your mind! Choppy and ineffectual. I had heard good things about the film, but I must go back and examine the heads of my informants, Someone here wrote Blanchett was pale and ethereal. That's nice--but not enough to tackle an iconic ruler such as Elizabeth I. Give me Glenda Jackson or Helen Mirren . . .even Bette Davis for crike's sakes--at least they have the CHOPS to tackle a great role. I was bored and irritated by this film which didn't seem to tell a great historic bio as much as it used the film to allow Blanchett several costume changes and some wacko camera-person to occassionally film from MTV-ish angles (for no consistent or apparent reason). To borrow from Snow White's two dwarves: Dopey and crappy . . ....more info
  • Compelling, But Historically Inaccurate
    This movie is beautifully staged and filmed and very well acted. Historically, it is no where near the truth. The problems are... well.... endless, but I will only mention two or three:

    1) Elizabeth knows that Robert Dudley is married long before she comes to the throne. The crisis in their relationship comes early in her reign when Dudley's wife dies under mysterious circumstances. Although the death is ruled an accident, many still suspect Dudley (and Elizabeth). This is the main event that effectively prevents them from ever marrying. The fact that almost nobody liked Dudley (except, it seems, Elizabeth) is another.

    2) Sir William Cecil is older than Elizabeth but only 12 or so years. He's not her grandfather's age - as Richard Attenborough looks. Cecil becomes Lord Burghley as a result of Elizabeth's favor, but the movie says she rewards him for his service - as she removes him from office. In reality, she never let him retire from her service, much as he begged as he grew old and infirm.

    3) Cat Ashley, Elizabeth's companion and friend, was in fact much older than Elizabeth, not of the same age group as this movie shows. Cat was Elizabeth's governess from a young age, and acted as her mother figure.

    Don't get me wrong: this is a great film. Just don't think it's based on reality!...more info
  • Cate Blanchett in a royal performance
    Cate Blanchett does a terrific job as Elizabeth, transitioning from young naive woman to hard, distanced monarch. And the rest of the cast stands up to the challenge of their roles as well. It's great to see a cast consisting of Daniel Craig, Geoffrey Rush, Kelly McDonald, Joseph Fiennes, and the old guy from Jurassic Park (come on, what's his name again?). All of these actors together with the scene design and cinematography really help bring this period piece to life.

    Sometimes the plot gets so thick it's hard to follow the story. And with a cast of so many characters it's easy to forget who's being talked about and where their allegiences lie.

    The DVD does feature a making of featurette and another brief featurette on Elizabeth herself. Overall, it's definitely worth the two hours to check out a great story, and a great film....more info
  • Stunning!
    A wonderful movie that absolutely commands your attention. Cate blachette gives one heck of a performance and was robbed of an Oscar. Then again, Judi Dench was pretty good in Mrs. brown too. Lush costumes, great script, direction and an overlooked cinematic score. Oh course kiddies, don't get your history lessons from Hollywood, but the film succeeds in getting you curious enough to start your own research on the amazing Virgin Queen....more info
  • A royal treat
    Elizabeth the person was great, and so is Elizabeth the movie. It is a highly romanticized adaptation of Elizabeth I's turbulent life. she went from being sentenced to death at the infamous London Tower, to being England's strongest female monarch in history.
    The movie opens with scary shots of people being burned to death by Queen Mary I, also known in history as Bloody Mary. A devoted catholic, there was one thing Mary hated more than protestants, and that was her half-sister Elizabeth, who not only was a protestant, but also a threat to strip the childless Mary of her title. Elizabeth is therefore imprisoned, but suddenly dies, which makes Elizabeth the queen. We are soon invited to see what really happens among royalty, as Elizabeth deals with the questions of marriage, love, war, conspiracies and power.
    The movie has two stellar qualities. The first one is Kate Blanchett, who plays the title character with ease and skill. Instead of expressing her emotions only through her voice, she takes advantage of her body language - the way Elizabeth walks and dances is never the same, and sometimes all Blanchett needs to do is move her hand in order to express a sentiment. The second big thing about this movie is the direction. The director, Shekhar Kaphur, not only wisely exploits all Blanchett has to offer, he decides not to change the pace of the movie by adding more action or drama. Instead, he sticks with dialogue which is more than enough - the scenes where Elizabeth defends herself from the accusations and the preconceptions of her councilors are exciting and dramatic, despite their minimalistic concept. Also, the texture, color palette and composition are important aspects of the movie - the setting, color scheme, costuming and light always reflect the feelings Elizabeth is hiding behind her pale fa?ade.
    "Elizabeth" is undeniably a masterpiece. However, it will not appeal to everybody - some will find the subject uninteresting, or its pace monotonous. People who decide to truly follow it, think about it and enjoy it, though, will find the stellar cast (including the ever-watchable co-stars Geoffrey Rush, Joseph Fiennes, Vincent Cassel and Daniel Craig), fantastic crew and the wonderful English feel to it make this movie a royal treat, something to indulge in again and again....more info
  • Excellent Movie!
    The acting in this movie is superb, and I think that Cate Blanchett portrayal of Queen Elizabeth is the best I've seen. Yes, this movie does have a few historical errors, but overall, this movie is really worth watching! ...more info
  • Elizabeth
    An outstanding, beautifully produced movie with an exceptional cast. Anyone who enjoys historically-based dramas will certainly find this movie quite captivating. ...more info
  • NOT FOR THOSE WHO DEMAND HISTORICAL ACCURACY
    The intent of the director was to capture the ATMOSPHERE or "flavor" of the Elizabethan court. Intrigue, alliances, deceit, ambitions, trechery and emotions. In addition he means to show us that Elizabeth was a human being thrust into power, and all that power demands. An innocent among the wolves. On those points he got it right ALTHOUGH people were not quite as clean and good looking then. Times were brutal. A toothache could kill you. Lice were everywhere.

    Those who criticize on historical accuracy complaints miss the point. An historically accurate film would span very very many hours or even more.

    The movie probably could have been a little longer as it is. Worthy of multiple viewings.

    Geoffrey Rush in a standout performance as Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth's shadowy, street smart but patriotic ally who moves mountains for her with extreme ruthlessness from behind curtains. His performance alone makes this worth viewing....more info
  • What a Waste
    This movie had many of the ingredients to make it truly great, including a phenomenal cast, lead by Cate Blanchett, and great scenery and cinematography. The actors playing Elizabeth, Cecil, and Walsingham spoke and acted admirably, each phrase spoken with such honesty and feeling, but the words themselves rendered the performances useless. The director and the author of the script greatly misunderstood the characters and the material. They should have read Elizabeth the First's biography by Elizabeth Jenkins. It is useless to say a movie does not need to be historically accurate but has only to entertain: had the author and director been more historically accurate, they would not have created the unbelievable character they created in Elizabeth, who is in turn hysterical, defeatist, overbearing, childish, tyrannical, who never shows her core intelligence, her great love of her people, who had a private core described by her motto "Semper Eadem", be always one. Elizabeth ruled with her advisors, she was not totally ruled by them. She would not have put up with Norfolk screaming at her across the council table, nor would Burleigh have allowed it. Cate Blanchett's wonderful acting and presence were pearls thrown before swine, wasted on a character portrayal that totally lacked any integrity, much less truth. How could the director think that the woman he was trying to portray was any kind of real woman? The ending had me blushing with embarassment for one and all. We are laughably given William Cecil as wimpy and ineffective, and Walsingham as the mastermind behind the throne. One of the reviews said that the director inspired Rush to play Walsingham much like the Hindu god Krishna. I suggest that he should have first read some English history....more info
  • Elizabeth the Silly School Girl
    A work of fiction is a great thing, but to take the life of a famous historical character and potray it as accurate is wrong. Why not just make up a story with no historical basis?...more info
  • Movies vs. Documentaries
    Very few historical movies are historically accurate. Who cares? That is not the point. If anyone relies on movie to get their history lessons, then they are pitiful in the first place. The primary purpose of movies is to entertain. Its likely that anyone interested in 'Elizabeth' is not the run of the mill 'Die Hard' fan to begin with, and probably has some true historical knowledge. Those seeking historical facts should visit their local library and stay away from the video store. ...more info
  • Cate, oh my...............
    To borrow from a previous reviewer: A movie to kill an evening with if you have one that really needs murdering.

    ...more info
  • Not a history lesson, but a good story
    To those of you, who have yet to realize what an amazing actress Cate Blanchett is, look no further than 'Elizabeth'. The characters, the costumes, and the production designs are good enough to make this movie watch able, but it's Blanchett who breathes life into the film and makes it cinema storytelling at its best.

    The story revolves around the rise of the young Queen Elizabeth I (Blanchett) who would soon become one of England's most powerful rulers. Reviled as a heretic by the Catholic Church, surrounded in the midst of traitors, and caught up in a romance with a young Lord that could jeopardize her crown, Elizabeth is forced to learn that as a queen... she must become untouchable in order to maintain her throne. The supporting cast does an excellent job with special nods to the ever elegant Geoffrey Rush, but it's Blanchett who manages to steal each and every scene. Her performance was more than Oscar worthy, and is surely one of her best.

    Some have compared this with `Shakespeare in Love' which includes two of the main leads from this film and was also released in the same year. Both are good films, but whereas `SIL' plays generally for laughs, Elizabeth is a serious film that should be taken seriously. There are historical plot holes - but these should not be used as a reason for slating the film. In fact it seems that Hollywood encourages this type of approach these days. There are any numbers of unexplained actions, and characters are sometimes hard to identify, but the camera work, color, and scenic backgrounds are superb. Locations are all real, and the acting is uniformly convincing. If an initial viewing leaves you a tad confused, do a little reading on the period, see the film again, and enjoy it all the more.
    ...more info
  • Fact is stranger than Fiction
    I am a fan of historical fiction, and this has to be one of the most historically inaccurate films I have ever seen! What bothers me the most is that the general public, who hasn't read the Tudor biographies like some of us have, will believe this stuff because it is their only exposure to the subject! I won't go into all the inaccuracies since other reviewers have already touched on them. Why tamper with history, when it was actually more fascinating than what was portrayed in this movie. ...more info
  • Elizabeth I, The Virgin Queen
    Our fascination with British history continues as we watched Elizabeth and the gorgeous sequel, Elizabeth the Golden Years. Elizabeth I lived from September 7th, 1533 until March 24th, 1603. She was called "The Virgin Queen" and was the fifth and last person to reign from the Tudor dynasty.

    She was the daughter of Henry VIII, born to Anne Boleyn, who reigned for a short period of time as Queen but was executed when Elizabeth was at the early age of three years old. As a result of her mother's history, Elizabeth was considered an illegitimate heir to the throne. Elizabeth is sent to London Tower under suspicion of supporting rebels of the Protestant faith, but she never confesses to the accusations that placed her there, and when Mary, her half sister dies, Elizabeth is crowned queen, supported by her Protestant subjects but despised by Catholics.

    The movie demonstrates how Elizabeth, masterfully played by Cate Blanchett, surrounds herself with great counsel and trusted advisers, among them William Cecil, the Baron of Burghley. One of the first acts as queen is to establish the English Protestant church and she becomes its Supreme leader. From the outset of her reign there is great pressure for Elizabeth to marry and produce an heir to the throne, but for many reasons you shall witness while watching the movie, she never marries and hence, she is known as the Virgin Queen. Thanks to the superbly loyal aide Walsingham, played in grand style by Geoffrey Rush, Elizabeth is able to uncover every plot to destroy her reign and she is able to check mate all attempts against her.

    The extra features provide interviews with the producer and we learn that Shekhar Kapur has followed every detail to provide authenticity as to the architecture and decorations of the time. The movie is superb, the filming exquisite, and we see locations that are simply... magnificent. Don't miss it!
    ...more info
  • great cinema
    if you like historical dramas (like I do), especially of the English variety, then this is required viewing. I won't give plot details here, just go rent it, you'll love it. The sequel, "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" is even better....more info
  • excellent movie
    Elizabeth and Elizabeth the Golden Age are 2 excellent movies. Cate Blanchett does an excellent job of being the "red haired" queen. The story line is excellent....more info
  • SO Happy to own this on HD!
    Elizabeth has occupied a spot in my personal Top Ten of all time movies since it was first released. I was ecstatic when it was released onto the HD format and was not in the least disappointed by the quality!

    For anyone interested in the Elizabethan age, this is a must-see movie. Cate Blanchet is luminous as Elizabeth I, the costuming is sumptuous, set design and scenery are breath taking, the acting superb and the direction without fault!...more info
  • Elizabeth from princess to icon: One mistress and no master.
    Among Great Britain's monarchs, two queens stand out in particular: Elizabeth I. and Queen Victoria. Both came to power at extremely young ages, and at times of political instability which would have set the odds of survival against any new ruler, but particularly so, against a woman. Both beat those odds in ways few people would have foreseen: They not only persevered but ruled for a nearly unparalleled long time, and during their reign achieved to both strengthen England's economy and international stance and give new direction to its society. We have long come to identify their reign as "the Victorian Age" and "the Elizabethan Age," respectively. Yet, while "Victorian England" is an expression often used synonymously with moral conservativism, Elizabeth I. fostered not only the development of science but also the theater and arts; providing fertile ground for the works of Shakespeare, Marlowe and many others. (Influenced by her husband, Queen Victoria supported the exploration of new scientific developments, but the dominant force of her formative years as a ruler was conservative prime minister Lord Melbourne, who once advised her not to read Dickens because his books were "full of unpleasant subjects.") And while Queen Victoria derived strength from her long, stable marriage to German-born Prince Albert, Elizabeth I. resisted the pressure to marry at all and became known as "the Virgin Queen."

    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. Shekhar Kapur's 1998 movie explores, as the director explains in the DVD's "Making of" feature, the making of that icon; the formative processes, influences and personalities surrounding the young princess's ascent to the throne and her first years in power -- and of course, at the center of it all, Elizabeth herself, magnificently portrayed by Cate Blanchett (who should have won the Academy Award for her performance). The princess, as this movie sees her, certainly knew her insecurities about her role in life and in English politics, her people's expectations, and the intrigues of her own court. But she was also, as Kapur has her affirm to her protector and spymaster Walsingham, "[her] father's daughter" -- the proud, headstrong daughter of Henry VIII., who quickly learned from her mistakes and assumed true leadership early on. Having inherited a country deeply torn in religious conflict, and having barely survived the machinations of the court of her Catholic half sister and predecessor, "Bloody" Mary I., to find her, the "heretic," guilty of treason and execute her, one of Elizabeth's first acts in power was to have parliament pass the Act of Uniformity, reestablishing the Church of England formed by her father. And while she respected her Secretary of State Sir William Cecil, she eventually came to realize that his advice was overly guided by the hope that she marry and produce an heir to secure her kingdom, and she reluctantly retired him into his status as Lord Burghley.

    Indeed, there was not one single man who dominated Elizabeth's life but several, and Kapur was able to secure an extraordinary cast to surround then-newcomer Blanchett. Richard Attenborough plays Sir William Cecil with a humility and quiet dignity that few besides him could have brought to the screen. Christopher Eccleston bristles as the powerful, ambitious Catholic Duke of Norfolk, that key player from the inner circle of Mary's court who retained his position after her death and became the one member of Elizabeth's council most dangerous to her reign. Joseph Fiennes reprises his role as a burning-eyed, handsome lover from the almost simultaneously released "Shakespeare in Love" (which, while a splendid movie in its own rights, eclipsed much of the limelight that "Elizabeth" would so richly have deserved), playing the man most closely romantically linked to Elizabeth, "Sweet" Lord Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, whose love for her -- at least, as this movie would have it -- is ultimately his own undoing. "You're still my Elizabeth," the erstwhile princess's lover insists at a ball some time after her coronation. "I am no man's Elizabeth," the queen retorts, and affirms for all the court to hear: "I will have one mistress here, and no master!"

    Most impressive of all the queen's men is Geoffrey Rush's portrayal as her protector, secret advisor and supreme spymaster Francis Walsingham, the creator of what much later became Britain's MI-5, whose role Rush approached, inspired by the description Kapur had given him, much like the Hindu god Krishna, as "a very wise man who can kill people ... while smiling," as he explains in the DVD's "Making of" featurette -- an ability which his young, unfaithful companion in exile learns to know as much as powerful Marie de Guise (Fanny Ardant), aunt to Elizabeth's would-be suitor Henri d'Anjou and mother of her later rival Mary of Scots; who had refused Henry VIII.'s suit remarking "I may be big in person, but my neck is small," only to find herself terminally surrendering to Walsingham's unmatched cunning.

    Key to any great historical movie is the authenticity of its production design, and "Elizabeth" overflows with the rich and luxurious colors of the queen's renaissance court and its balls, gowns and pageants. But there are also the vast, high stone halls of the palace and the royal cathedral, symbolizing the perpetuity of the monarchy reestablished by Elizabeth I. At last, when contemplating a statute of the Virgin Mary, Elizabeth wonders whether, to perpetuate her reign, she must be "made of stone;" and it is again Walsingham who answers: "Aye, Madam, to reign supreme, [because] all men ... must be able to touch the divine here on earth" and as yet, "they have found nothing to replace [Mary]." And so, this movie tells us, the icon we all know was created - and like a nun married to God, a dehumanized Elizabeth reenters her council and holds out her hand to her old Secretary of State: "Observe, Lord Burghley: I am married to England!"

    Also recommended:
    Elizabeth I: Collected Works
    The Life of Elizabeth I
    Elizabeth R
    Elizabeth I
    The Virgin Queen
    Elizabeth - The Golden Age (Widescreen Edition)
    Shakespeare in Love (Miramax Collector's Series)
    The Wives of Henry VIII...more info
  • A Little History, Professor...
    I was interested about English history and this film, along with Elizabeth: The Golden Age, are great for understanding the beginning and continuance of the Elizabethan Age. Extremely well put together and superb acting make this film a keeper....more info
  • Wonderful
    Wonderful performances by Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush. The quality of this DVD is much better than the original release. I am very pleased with this DVD....more info
  • Reality or fantasy
    Customes are great but the plot is confusing? History and this movie don't mix very well. Definitely not on the acting level of Flora Robson and her 1940's movies on Elizabeth....more info
  • Great movie. Nice video even though DVD
    Even I bought the DVD, not Hi-Def, the video is vivid and bright. The audio was good.

    The movie itself is one of my best epic movie.

    Two thumbs up to actors and director....more info
  • I, Too, Can Command The Wind Sir!
    Incredible movie from start to finish. Cate is one of those actresses that I'd watch read the phone book. I thought they lessened Geoffrey Rush's character a bit in this film but I loved it nevertheless. I give it 5 stars and I think you will too!...more info
  • Rewriting History and Calling It "Culture"
    It's one thing to amuse yourself imagining how "Romeo & Juliet" might have come to be written for a film like "Shakespeare in Love" - it's another thing entirely simply to rewrite existing history so you can turn that history into a palatable soap opera for morons.

    Despite a lush production, great costumes, and a cast that is nothing short of extraordinary, the liberties taken with recorded history by the director take this film down to the level of a cartoon of Elizabeth's achievements during Britain's Golden Age. Had I seen this in the theater, I would probably have gotten up and walked out after seeing Mary de Guise murdered in her bed by Sir Francis Walsingham for the sake of "compressing" history and the personae of Mary de Guise and her daughter, Mary Queen of Scots. Mary de Guise was deposed by her own nobles in 1559, and died of dropsy in 1560 - she represented next to no threat to Elizabeth (quite the reverse: the rise of Scottish Protestantism was a threat to Mary de Guise). Her daughter Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded by Elizabeth many years later after quite a long time spent imprisoned in the Tower. Only the presence of actors like Blanchett, Rush, and Eccleston kept me watching. Then there was the presentation of the young Elizabeth as wavering and tentative and easily cowed, when in fact one of the factors in her survival of a very dangerous youth was her composure, brilliant mind, and oratorical gifts; and, most absurdly, a wildly erotic sex scene between Fiennes and Blanchett in an open space where her ladies in waiting (and anyone else who cared to) enjoyed the spectacle, a piece of recklessness so out of character for the wily, man-dodging Elizabeth that it beggars description.

    I was the more disgusted because, knowing how appallingly badly educated Americans are when it comes to history (more than half of teens polled recently couldn't give the dates of the Civil War), I am sure three quarters of the audiences in this country walked out thinking that they had just been shown the truth.

    There is NO excuse for this. NONE. I see from the ecstatic reviews that most people either don't know any better or worse, just don't care - it is a sad commentary on their standards. I wonder if the director had a good time trying to cut down to size one of history's greatest female leaders?

    For the record, Blanchett is splendid as the young Elizabeth, Joseph Fiennes decent but uninspiring (as he always seems to be) as the feckless Sir Robert Dudley, Geoffrey Rush amazing (as HE always seems to be) as the canny Walsingham, and Christopher Eccleston baleful and forbidding as the Catholic Duke of Norfolk, sworn to bring down what he considers a heretic and illegitimate Queen (the Norfolks still lead England's minority Catholic nobility). Daniel Craig has a small role in this film as one of Norfolk's co-conspirators in treason - as always, Craig is compelling to watch even briefly. I find Joseph Fiennes so dull; what a pity neither Craig nor Eccleston were cast as Dudley.

    But what a stunning waste of immense talent on a script that is absolute trash.
    ...more info
  • Blanchett is stupendous!
    I cannot believe they awarded the best actress oscar to Paltrow over Blanchett. Its criminal! Two completely different performances, yes, but if you had to pick a best actress, Cate should have been it. She was marvelous in this and no one could have played the queen better. The movie itself is beautifully shot, the screenplay rich and informative, while being highly entertaining. Its dramatic and romantic and nail biting all at once. I love watching period films/costume dramas; whatever you wanna call it, this one is up there as one of the best made. Hands down, no question. It may be a bit confusing at first watch, but after a couple more viewings, you really appreciate just how wonderful this film is. ...more info
  • "I'm Married To England" ~ To Touch The Divine Here On Earth
    With 435 reviews already posted on the '98 film `Elizabeth' starring the incomparable Cate Blanchett I would venture to guess that just about everything haas been said about this masterpiece. Cinematography, soundtrack, script and cast are second to none. For me what raises its standard of excellence even higher, if that were possible, is the symbolic connection made between Queen Elizabeth and the Virgin Mary, hence the unofficial title "the Virgin Queen).

    Religion and personal convictions always seem to be at odds with politics and personal ambitions particularly in period pieces involving royalty and the belief in the right to rule as though by Divine Decree. This beautiful intermixing of the mundane with sacred is the cord that binds this film together adding depth and dimension to an already stellar production.

    Definitely a film that belongs in your personal, permanent DVD collection!...more info
  • Greatest Elizabeth
    Elizabeth I is by far my favorite historical figure, a powerful and fair woman who defined an entire age, lifting her country out of squalor into greatness. Although historically inaccurate, Kapur's Elizabeth is a masterpiece of cinematography. Cate Blanchett, a virtual unknown when she was cast for the role, couldn't have been a better choice for the role of this ageless monarch.

    The film covers approximately five years of Elizabeth's reign, from her life as a Princess, to her ascendancy to the throne on 17 November 1558 to her maturing as a monarch, taking the reigns of power from advisors. Again, ignoring the fact that some events in the film are not accurate (Kapur explains this in the bonus features), Elizabeth is a fantastic portrayal of the Tudor dynasty that died with Elizabeth I. Joseph Fiennes was the perfect choice for the Earl of Leicester (whom Elizabeth called "My Eyes"), as Fiennes is a well known Shakespearean actor, who portrayed Shakespeare the same year Elizabeth came out in "Shakespeare in Love".

    Great cast, including Geoffrey Rush and Sir Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth is a feast of photography, words, history and acting. I highly recommend this film, and am looking forward to Elizabeth: The Golden Age....more info
  • Spectacular!
    Existing reviews both on and off Amazon already say it all. This is a spectacular film in so many ways. If you enjoy history, Cate, Feinnes, gorgeous costumes, great acting, and panoramic character development, get this film.
    (It's only too bad that the followup, Elizabeth the Golden Age, doesn't even touch this one.)...more info
  • Elizabeth
    I found the way the picture has been edited gave great depth to an historic character, who was both strong and forthright. Kate Blanchet's portrayal of Elizabeth Tudor was masterful as was Geffory Rush's performance. I casn't wait to buy Elizabeth the Golden age...more info
  • Woman of Power
    I adore this movie. Cate Blanchett is an amazing actress and portrays the Queen beautifully. The costumes are absolutely amazing....more info
  • The Godfather, Tudor style
    Partially reinventing the period movie, stylistically at least, almost as radically as Martin Scorsese reinvented the Biblical epic with his Last Temptation, Shekhur Kapur's account of the insecure early days of Elizabeth I's reign, Elizabeth, is a claustrophobic film set in a dark world of cold grey stone, alternating overhead shots with tight medium shots rather than stressing spectacle or glamour, more political thriller than costume epic. Indeed, with its bloody finale clearly inspired by The Godfather as Walsingham takes care of business for his Capo di tutti Capo, it's almost a mafia movie, with Cate Blanchett's star-making turn as Elizabeth filling in the Michael Corleone role as the heir apparent who must ruthlessly shed emotions and conscience to hold on to the throne. That journey from fresh-faced youth to impregnable white-faced icon gives the film a solid emotional arc that helps prevent it from becoming a simple series of confrontations and thwarted conspiracies, almost - but not quite - turning it into a tragedy of success rather than the usual tragedy of failure that is usually the lot of women in historical pictures (Anne of the Thousand Days, Mary Queen of Scots, Lady Jane, La Reine Margot, etc).

    It's handsomely cast: Joseph Fiennes gives good shallow romanticism as Elizabeth's lover Dudley, Christopher Eccleston in his default misery guts mode makes a fine villain and there's a healthy cast that, if not bursting with A-listers, is at least filled with familiar faces, from Richard Attenborough, Fanny Ardant, Daniel Craig and Vincent Cassel in a dress to Edward Hardwicke, Kelly McDonald, James Frain, Emily Mortimer and Eric Cantona. Yet perhaps even more than Blanchett it's a magnificent Geoffrey Rush who often dominates the film from the sidelines as the Queen's loyal and utterly unscrupulous spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham, a man who can seem all things to all men and women but is loyal only to her. Even when he's simply observing from afar he's a powerful presence in all the right ways, emanating a callous intelligence that is truly frightening.

    It's strange that the sequel has been attacked by the Vatican as anti-Catholic when this first chapter probably occupies a high place on Ian Paisley's Ten Best List, what with Kathy Burke's psychotic "Bloody" Mary burning Protestants and threatening to do the same to her half-sister and John Gielgud's Pope (earning fifth billing for barely two minutes' screen time) despatching Daniel Craig's priest to assassinate the Protestant queen not merely with his blessing but his promises of a welcome in heaven for any who help in the task. Not entirely inaccurate considering the many attempts by Catholic kingdoms like France and Spain to topple or assassinate Elizabeth during her reign, but a little more historical context might have been helpful for viewers not so familiar with Tudor politics and the causes and effects of the Reformation. It doesn't help that Michael Hirst's screenplay refers to Marie de Guise (Ardant) as Mary, Queen of Scots, leading some to assume she's [I]the[/I] famous Mary, Queen of Scots rather than her mother, but then the problem of just how much historical information you can include before it gets in the way of the drama is always a difficult one in a period film: too little and you don't know what's happening, too much and you feel like you should be taking notes in case there's a test later. Instead, this is content to follow Elizabeth's rise at the expense not just of her enemies but also some of her early friendships, keeping it personal even as Elizabeth has to shed her own personality to create an icon a divided nation can follow. It's certainly not flawless, but it's never dull and often impressive. ...more info
  • Excellent Historic Film
    This is a captivating film with amazing acting and scenery. Not surprising that this is an award winning film. Cate Blanchett is superbly cast for this role....more info
  • Brilliant
    While not necessarily very historically accurate, Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth, is a veritable feast for the eyes. Shekhar's Bollywood background probably inspired the vivid imagery, the vibrant colors as well as some of the song-and-dance routines. The rest of the story is known to virtually any student of history. Elizabeth ascends the throne upon the death of her half-sister Catholic Mary (who had done everything that she possibly could to prevent the Protestant Elizabeth from becoming the monarch). She ascends at a time when the country is divided in two along religious fault lines. The kingdom is at its weakest and most of Elizabeth's advisors think that the only way to bring stability is for Elizabeth to get married. Not so, thinks her majesty. Definitely worth watching....more info