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Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Review written on: October 14th, 2007

Elizabeth: The Golden Age Review

Elizabeth I may have been somewhat nervous and naive in the first film, just getting her feet wet as the new English monarch, but this time, she?s poised, strong and rearing to go. This sequel further explores the life and reign of the Virgin Queen.

The Queen (Cate Blanchett) has been on the throne for a few years, and while there are still a few bugs to work out of the system, she has proven herself to be a force to be reckoned with. Gone is the timid, shy Princess who has to convince her subjects of her abilities and genuine love for them.

Yet again, she has a few new foes that are trying to usurp her territory, who are unable and unwilling to deal with her Protestant faith. They include the imprisoned Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots (Samantha Morton) and Philip II, King of Spain (Jordi Molla), who sends the Spanish Armada to conquer the country and overthrow her. As always, she has her trusted advisor, Sir Francis (Geoffrey Rush) and her ladies-in-waiting to guide her.

While her downright refusal to marry and produce an heir doesn’t sit well with the religious council, she still maintains that her subjects are her children and that she refuses to answer to anyone else. Regardless, that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have a romantic heart. When explorer Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen) returns to England, boasting about the colony he founded in Elizabeth’s honor, the Queen begins to develop feelings for him, but still wonders if she can be loved simply for who she is, and not just because she’s the sovereign.

Cate Blanchett has successfully delivered another Oscar-worthy performance, and if it were up to me, she’d get the Best Actress award right now. Her exploration and definition of this character is certainly more pronounced than in the first film. There’s that booming voice (which is showcased in the trailer), and one strong facade which hid a vulnerability that she tried endlessly to mask, at times to no avail. The Queen has truly grown older and wiser. Rush and Owen also delivered impeccable performances as part of the supporting cast. Phenomenal!

In a rather oddball move, I saw this film before I saw the first one, and I found this one slightly superior. There was absolutely nothing that this film lacked or needed. I cannot stop thinking that every performance, scene, costume, prop was utter perfection. To all of our readers, as well as the voting members of AMPAS, I hope you will agree!

 

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