Elizabeth: The Golden Age

"OK"

Elizabeth: The Golden Age Review


Of the more than 15 sequels already released this year, Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth: The Golden Age is by no means the most unnecessary (that remains a three-way tie between Evan Almighty, Rush Hour 3, and Are We Done Yet?), though it could be considered the most improbable.

For one thing, historical costume dramas rarely spawn second chapters, particularly ones that struggle to make back their production budgets. Kapur's critically acclaimed original Elizabeth earned multiple Oscar nominations but was largely overshadowed (at the ceremony and in the public eye) by John Madden's opposing Golden Age tryst Shakespeare in Love.

But Kapur envisioned a trilogy pertaining to the Virgin Queen's reign, and so the saga continues with a surprisingly trivial stab that should have been subtitled The High School Years. There is a palpable urgency as Cate Blanchett slips back into her Oscar-nominated role, for Queen Elizabeth I faces pressure on multiple fronts. Externally, she's contending with Spain's rebellious King Philip II (Jordi Molla). In Elizabeth's own back yard, jealous Mary Queen of Scots (Samantha Morton) plans a hostile takeover with help from Robert Reston (Rhys Ifans).

But Kapur treats Elizabeth's royal court like the lunchroom at your neighborhood middle school, resting his attention on the socially inadequate queen's crush on Sir Walter Raleigh (charismatic Clive Owen) and the snippy love triangle these feelings create with loyal Elizabeth Throckmorton (Abbie Cornish). Owen tries to revive the proceedings. He brings unpredictability, candor, and passion to a speech about ocean travel and discovery that can best be described as literate foreplay. Like most of the film, though, we are never allowed to consummate any passionate act.

Meanwhile, Philip II's holy war is virtually an afterthought. Kapur's production designers cover a weak script that barely addresses assassination plots, the ousting of royal traitors, and the silencing of conspirators. Those not in Elizabeth's inner circle -- most notable Morton and Ifans -- are completely shafted. Blanchett stays steady throughout, but musters more passion when she learns of Raleigh and Throckmorton's nuptials then when she's informed that the Spanish Armada has infiltrated the English Channel. You can tell which thread interests the director more.

Elizabeth is a noble and beautiful disappointment, a slice of high drama that disguises a powerful figure's adolescent and futile search for the boy of her dreams. Thanks to some impressive set design, costuming, and cinematography, it is the most ornate episode of Saved by the Bell you'll ever see.

A feather for her cap. Er, crown.



Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Facts and Figures

Run time: 114 mins

In Theaters: Friday 12th October 2007

Box Office USA: $16.3M

Budget: $25M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures, StudioCanal, Working Title Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 35%
Fresh: 58 Rotten: 107

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Debra Hayward,

Starring: as Elizabeth I, as Sir Walter Raleigh, as Sir Francis Walsingham, as Amyas Paulet, as Elizabeth Throckmorton, as Robert Reston, as Philip II, as Queen Mary, as Babington

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Advertisement
Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.