Elizabeth, Elizabeth Movie Review, Movie Review, Film Review
Michael A. Maynez   photo


Queen Elizabeth, has always been a challenging role for all actresses and many have really given us memorable performances, all the way from Bette Davis, to Glenda Jackson, not to forget Judith Anderson, Sarah Bernhardt to Florence Eldridge. Along comes Cate Blanchett, the Australian actress that thrilled us in “Oscar and Lucinda”. Here her time on the screen is a performance of worth, from the energetic, naïve young girl, to the hellcat virgin queen, she literally melts white steel in this historical , complex spectacle.

We only wished that director Shekhar Kapur had not overindulged himself in the grandiose castles, cathedrals and incredible architecture of that time. It is indeed a rich tapestry of her forty four year reigned that made England the sovereign state that it became, considering what she had to endure, violence, intrigue and double crosses as only royals must suffer.

The fact that Cate Bllanchett has been surrounded by an admirable cast, such as Geoffrey Rush , as Sir Francis Walsingham, from whom she demands absolute loyalty and as an absolute power she gets it. Joseph Fiennes, plays the love interest in full betrayal. His dark looks promise much , but it will be saved for another film. Richard Attenborough, Christopher Eccleston, Kathy Burke and John Gielgud.

The costumes are extraordinary by Alexandra Byrme. In an interview Blanchett is quoted,” Shekhar is very interested in chaos and throwing people into a state of confusion. Out of this confusion comes clarity, I guess I was in confusion a lot of the time we were working.” And maybe that is why she is the only one on track, because at time that confusion does trancends to the audience. Nevertheless this is a piece of film making that cannot be put aside, its freshness may be questioned, but there is enough for all historical buffs to reexamine their feelings. WITHOUT DOUBT CATE BLANCHETT IS A TALENT TO DEAL WITH.

Cate Blanchett ------------  Elizabeth I
Geoffrey Rush ------------ Sir Francis Walsingham
Christopher Eccleston ---- Duke of Norfolk
Joseph Fiennes ------------ Robert Dudley
Richard Attenborough ---- Sir William Cecil
Fanny Ardant ------------- Mary of Guise
Kathy Burke ------------- Queen Mary Tudor
Eric Cantona ------------- Monsieur de Foix
James Frain -------------- Alvaro de la Quadra
Vincent Cassel ---------- Duc d'Anjou
Daniel Craig ------------- John Ballard
John Gielgud ------------- The Pope
Angus Deayton
Edward Hardwicke ----- Lord Arundel
Terence Rigby

Directed by ------------- Shekhar Kapur
Produced by ------------ Alison Owen, Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan
Music by ---------------- David Hirschfelder
Camera ------------------ Remi Adefarasin
Costume Design by ---- Alexandra Byrne
Editor -------------------- Jill Bilcock
Written by ------------- Michael Hirst
MPAA: Rated R for violence and sexuality.

To contact Michael send e-mail to mmaynez@aol.com
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Original Date 23 November 1998