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Elizabeth (1998)

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, more...
Director: Shekhar Kapur, Shekhar Kapur
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Universal Studios
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Romance, Costume Drama/Period Piece, Biopics, UK
Running Time: 124 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

This British-made historical drama depicts the rise of young Elizabeth Tudor to Queen of England, a reign of intrigue and betrayals. In 1554, Queen Mary I (Kathy Burke) tries to restore Catholicism as England's single faith. With no heir to the crown, she maneuvers to keep her Protestant half-sister Elizabeth (Cate Blanchett) from succeeding her, but her efforts fail. With Mary dead, Elizabeth is proclaimed Queen of England in November 1558. Elizabeth relishes the return from exile of her childhood sweetheart, Lord Robert Dudley (Joseph Fiennes). Chief adviser Sir William Cecil (Richard Attenborough) urges the young Queen to forget personal matters and instead address the country's pressing problems. England is bankrupt, has no army, and is under serious threat from abroad. Elizabeth even has enemies within her own court, the most dangerous being the Duke of Norfolk (Christopher Eccleston). Hoping for an heir, Cecil suggests marriage candidates -- King Philip II of Spain or the French Duc d'Anjou (Vincent Cassel) -- to secure the realm. Elizabeth agrees to meet their ambassadors, but her true feelings are revealed when she meets Dudley for a secret tryst. French "warrior queen" Mary of Guise (Fanny Ardent) amasses troops at the Scottish border. Elizabeth bows to the pro-War lobby led by Norfolk, despite protests from her Master of Spies, the enigmatic Sir Francis Walsingham (Geoffrey Rush), but the decision to fight leads to a humiliating defeat. As dark clouds of court conspiracies gather, and the possibility of assassination looms, Elizabeth strikes out at her enemies and puts her trust in Walsingham. Shown at 1998 film fests (Venice, Toronto), this is the first English-language film of Indian director Shekhar Kapur, who shot on locations at Northumberland, Derbyshire, North Yorkshire, and at Shepperton Studios. ~ Bhob Stewart, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Much need correction by MLaRue August 4, 2006 - 7:14 PM PDT
Gwyneth Paltrow should view this film, take a few notes on acting, and give Kate Blanchett her fucking Ocsar!

Incredible by asklepios March 27, 2005 - 3:08 PM PST
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
I don't gush often over films, but Elizabeth has a compelling storyline, acted brilliantly (especially Geoffrey Rush as Walsingham), the costumes and set designs were perfect, and even though I know her story, I was on the edge of my seat, concerned for her safety and throne. The only mar to the story were the historical fabrications, regarding the Earl of Leicester's involvement in a plot, and Elizabeth's dismissal of Sir William Cecil.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.54)
291 Votes
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BFI's Top 100 British Films of the 20th Century
In 1999 the BFI surveyed 1000 people from the world of UK film and television to produce this list. A few of the selected films were wholly or partly produced by non-UK companies, but but were perceived by voters as having significant British involvement
BFI Top 100 Films
The British Film Institute's Top 100 British films, as announced in 1999 (following the example of the AFI's Top 100 American films). Not all of them are on Region 1 disc yet, but there are still many fine films here to discover.

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