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Elizabeth: The Golden Age Review

Friday, October 12th, 2007



Elizabeth: The Golden Age is a lavish historical thriller.

Almost a decade after they lit up the screen in the acclaimed Elizabeth, Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, and director Shekhar Kapur reunite for the follow-up Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Even more lavishly produced than its predecessor, Elizabeth: The Golden Age is, like the 1998 film, a thriller gussied up as a costume drama, but it makes the same mistake that so many sequels do: it mistakes bigger for better, overwhelming the viewer with so much music, spectacle and melodrama as to nearly squelch the human drama.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age opens in 1585 and finds the queen still being harangued by her staff, notably chief adviser and spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham (Rush), about finding a husband and producing an heir. She entertains a number of royal suitors, but is charmed the most by the dashing Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen) — a pirate and explorer who has just recently returned from the New World. Raleigh tells the monarch and her court about how he established a colony there in honor of the Virgin Queen — Virginia — and shows off the gifts he has brought back for her, namely tobacco, potatoes and gold.

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Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Friday, September 7th, 2007


Reprising the roles they originated in seven-time Academy Award®-nominated Elizabeth, Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush return for a gripping historical thriller laced with treachery and romance–Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Joining them in the epic is Clive Owen as Sir Walter Raleigh, a dashing seafarer and newfound temptation for Elizabeth.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age finds Queen Elizabeth I (Oscar®-winner Cate Blanchett) facing bloodlust for her throne and familial betrayal. Growing keenly aware of the changing religious and political tides of late 16th century Europe, Elizabeth finds her rule openly challenged by the Spanish King Philip II (Jordi Molla) with his powerful army and sea-dominating armada determined to restore England to Catholicism.

Preparing to go to war to defend her empire, Elizabeth struggles to balance ancient royal duties with an unexpected vulnerability in her love for Raleigh. But he remains forbidden for a queen who has sworn body and soul to her country. Unable and unwilling to pursue her love, Elizabeth encourages her favorite lady-in-waiting, Bess (Abbie Cornish), to befriend Raleigh to keep him near. But this strategy forces Elizabeth to observe their growing intimacy.

As she charts her course abroad, her trusted advisor, Sir Francis Walsingham (Academy Award® winner Geoffrey Rush), continues his masterful puppetry of Elizabeth’s court at home and her campaign to solidify absolute power. Through an intricate spy network, Walsingham uncovers an assassination plot that could topple the throne. But as he unmasks traitors that may include Elizabeths own cousin Mary Stuart (Samantha Morton), he unknowingly sets England up for destruction.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age tells the thrilling tale of an era–the story of one woman’s crusade to control love, crush enemies and secure her position as a beloved icon of the western world.

Cast: Cate Blanchett, Clive Owen, Geoffrey Rush, Samantha Morton; Directed by: Shekhar Kapur

In Theaters: October 12, 2007

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