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Drama - Historic

Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)

Duration1h 54m
RatingsUK: 12A, USA: PG-13, Switzerland: 12 
Source of storyLoosely based on the real events of the Elizabethan age.
DirectorShekhar Kapur
Writers/ScriptWilliam Nicholson, Michael Hirst
StarringJordi Molla, Cate Balnchett, Laurence Fox, John Shrapnel, Geoffrey Rush, Samantha Morton, Abbie Cornish, Rhys Ifans, Eddie Redmayne, Clive Owen, Tom Hollander, David Threlfall, 
RatingsIMDb: 6.8 by 70k people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 34% by 166 reviewers. Review2view 5/10 

Elevator Pitch: In the 1580s Elizabeth 1 of England rules an outwardly peaceful realm, but beneath the surface Catholic conspirators are at work, intending to remove Elizabeth, possibly by assassination, and replacing her with Mary Queen of Scots, who is a participant in the plot. Meanwhile Walter Raleigh, the adventurer gains the queen’s attention and is knighted by her to keep him at court. The plot is foiled and Mary is beheaded to prevent further problems, but the realm is now threatened by the Spanish who are building a fleet of vessels with the intent of invading. Meanwhile Raleigh has had an affair with Bess one of her ladies in wafting. When the queen finds out there will be hell to pay.

Content: No sex or nudity, but a bit of snogging between Raleigh and Bess, the lady in waiting. The queen holds court in what look like draughty stone buildings. She frequently shows her enthusiasm for having Raleigh at her side, once he has gained her attention. The conspirators meet in gloomy low ceiling rooms. When captured they are tortured, at least one in a Iron Maiden. Mary is beheaded. We see the axe swinging downwards and Catholics are hanged; we see their dangling feet.

A View: This outing won Best Costumes at the Oscars, but was not nearly as popular as the first film in the series (which I have not seen). However, I do know a bit about the history of the time and so was constantly confused by the various changes made, one assumes for dramatic purposes. I finally lost patience when the battle between the English and Spanish was reduced to fictitious drama about fire ships. So I did not really rate it as worth a view. Maybe a watch while doing something else. 

A couple of other Tudor sagas which have been reviewed on this site: The Other Boleyn Girl, Mary Queen of Scots .  

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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