Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
PG-13 | 09 September 2007 (USA)
Elizabeth: The Golden Age Trailers

When Queen Elizabeth's reign is threatened by ruthless familial betrayal and Spain's invading army, she and her shrewd adviser must act to safeguard the lives of her people.

Reviews
Exoticalot

People are voting emotionally.

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Beystiman

It's fun, it's light, [but] it has a hard time when its tries to get heavy.

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PiraBit

if their story seems completely bonkers, almost like a feverish work of fiction, you ain't heard nothing yet.

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Hayden Kane

There is, somehow, an interesting story here, as well as some good acting. There are also some good scenes

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nando1301-1

Great cast, good photography, but the film depicts the English as all good and the Spanish as evil religious zealots, a caricature of history. The Spanish Armada was decimated by a storm, and not by Sir Walter Raleigh's ingenuity. He played a minor role, if any, in the whole battle.

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robert-temple-1

This is a sequel, by the same director (Shekhar Kapur), to ELIZABETH (1998), both dealing with Queen Elizabeth I of England at successive periods of her life. (The last period of her life, 1588-1603, still awaits a final sequel.) This film is not as successful as its predecessor, but the central performance by Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth is if anything even more amazing, glorious, and breath-taking this time around. The costumes by Alexandra Byrne and the wigs and hair styling are all Oscar-worthy, some of the best ever seen on screen. A great deal of trouble was taken to find locations, and as the original palaces do not survive, three cathedrals (Ely, Winchester, and Westminster) were used as palace-substitutes, along with a lot of historical mansions. (The use of the ancient coastal chapel at Rame Head, one of my favourite places in Cornwall, is not credited.) Although the use of carved stone cathedrals with unadorned walls is not accurate, for the palaces would have been hung with rich tapestries, the substitute settings do create an eerie and somewhat bleak atmosphere which adds to the film's effectiveness considerably, as if we are watching a Greek tragedy unfold. All of these things are excellent, as are the scenes with Dr. John Dee (played by David Threlfall) acting as the queen's astrologer (though his close association with Walsingham's spying activities is not referred to). But the film goes off the rails somewhat due to the miscasting of the two main male roles. Clive Owen attempts to portray Sir Walter Raleigh (whose name is mis-pronounced in the film, for it should be pronounced 'rawley'), but he is so very much a 21st century person that he just cannot pull this off at all. I am afraid he is not a particularly good historical actor, and he thinks that to be forceful on screen he needs to glare at the Queen with a touch of insolent 'man of the people' swagger. But that is all wrong, so, so wrong. The other casting failure is Geoffrey Rush as the spy chief Sir Francis Walsingham. Rush, unlike Owen, is a very fine actor who is versatile at anything, and he does his usual excellent job, but he just is not right for the part. The real Walsingham was such a sly sophisticate that Rush's gentle and avuncular under-playing of the role is a note so false that, combined with Owen's misjudgements, it throws the film right out of kilter. A number of key historical characters are eliminated as 'non-persons' and do not appear in the film at all, but such simplifications may perhaps be excused, as this is only a single film and you just can't squeeze everybody in. Mary Queen of Scots is brilliantly played by Samantha Morton, and she adds a great deal of poignancy to this film, not least in her marvellously exasperated fit of picque when she is found out as a conspirator and realizes that all of her secret notes have been intercepted by Walsingham. Although the real Mary was a psychopathic murderess who killed her own husband and others besides, Morton's performance, which gives us a tiny bit of sympathy for her, in this context will do nicely. Abbie Cornish is excellent and sensitive as Bess Throgmorton (also spelled Throckmorton). King Philip of Spain is very brilliantly portrayed by Spanish film star Jordi Molla. The film pulls no punches at all about the crazed and bloodthirsty fanaticism of the Spanish Catholics of that age, who were the 16th century equivalent of today's Taliban, lusting to kill anybody and everybody who would not bend the knee to their dogma. The entire story of the Armada is bravely told, and though Sir Francis Drake only gets a brief look-in, never mind, who wants to quibble, as it's only a movie. Early on, as the Armada threat looms, Tilbury Fort is mentioned as a barrier to its advance towards London on the Thames. Alas alack, I have read all the state correspondence about Tilbury Fort. The true situation was far more dire than is hinted. Sir Alexander Temple, hereditary commander of the Fort, and Captain John Smith on the other side of the river at Gravesend, had to fund the only significant defence of London and garrison all the men and provide all the weapons for their forts at their own expense, so broke was the Crown, and they never got their money back. (No wonder Sir Alexander's son James signed the Death warrant of Charles I half a century later, his older brother having also been killed because of another madcap royal miscalculation, the crazy Isle of Rhé Expedition.) The scenes of the Armada, aided by digital technology, are impressive, and convey the danger and conflict very well. I would say that the script was a bit weak, with lapses into modernity for some of the dialogue, and the historical vision (apart from the scenic and design elements, which are first rate) was a bit feeble, even misleading in parts. But then, most historical films about a period as remote as this are worse, so we must not be overly critical. Certainly it would be worth making ten more of these films about Elizabeth just to see Cate Blanchett continue in the part, she is so astounding and convincing. I don't know if young people ever watch films like this, as they have all been so brain-washed by their trendy teachers only to have concern for what is 'relevant to today'. But as the teaching of history in British secondary schools now only amounts to one hour per week, it would seem that films are the only hope left to prevent history disappearing down the drain altogether. Few people under 25 even seem to know who Winston Churchill was, and as for Sir Walter Raleigh, does he do coke; if not, why not?

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Tcarts76

This movie gets a 9 from me, and is a great example of how a Biopic should be done. Usually when you watch a biopic the producers and directors go in either one direction or another based on personal beliefs. They tend to either show somebody in a very negative or positive way regardless of any facts. This one showed an emotional sometimes irrational Queen in a humanistic light that was very refreshing. Cate Blanchett was amazing in the role of Queen Elizabeth. At times in the movie the viewer can't help but hate her, and at other times one can see the burdens that lay upon the Monarch and feels some compassion. Blanchett shows great skill in bringing this historic character to life in a very complex and extremely humanizing way. Never does one really grow to love the character but at the sametime you have to admire her. This surely was no puff piece (Kristen Dunst as Marie Antoinette anyone?) but it wasn't a negative one either.The only downside I saw was 2 fold. One Sir Walter Raleigh's relationship to the Queen. There was in fact rumors of a romantic relationship, but nothing substantiated as proof in history, and he wasn't a big hero against the Spanish Armada as portrayed. Second, I am kind of disappointed that the movie didn't mention more about her father. True, she probably had little love for the man, but I think he would have been a great topic since his split with the Catholic church brought about a lot of the turmoil Elizabeth had to face.All in all, This was a great movie, with great acting, sets, costumes, and pretty much many details. If you like period pieces and history definitely watch this one.

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werefox08

Elizabeth--The Golden Age is vastly inferior to the 1998 Elizabeth. Cate Blanchett is still very good as "the virgin Queen", but ..in essence..its really only more of the same, with a tardy script and some suspect acting. Clive Owen never gets to grips with his role as Sir Walter Raleigh, and is totally unconvincing. There is a lot of history to get through here and scenes that merited more time were rushed. The Spanish Armada was defeated in minutes..!!! It is visually a beautiful movie, and we can expect a final film. (Elizabeth died when she was 70.) Unfortunately i think the "game is up" for director Shekhar Kapur. His ace card was Elizabeth...and that card has been played.

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