Elizabeth: The Golden Age Is Golden

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Elizabeth: The Golden Age, which reunites Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush in the roles they originated in the Academy Award nominated Elizabeth, is an elaborate historical drama which is well worth seeing.
The 16th century costuming was almost worth the price of the tickets: sumptuous gowns, gorgeous fabrics, jewelry, and elaborate hairstyles were scene-stealing eye candy. The
cinematography and artsy camera angles treated viewers to beautiful architecture, Armada ships under full sail, and interesting lighting effects.
Clive Barker was a deliciously dashing Sir Walter Raleigh, although I did think he stole some of Sir Francis
Drake’s glory. One thing to keep in mind with this movie is it is historical fiction. During the Armada year of 1588, Raleigh was employed as Vice Admiral of Devon, looking after the coastal defenses and military levies, not commanding a ship and leading the English fleet to flaming victory alongside Sir Francis Drake. Sir Francis Drake did not die in the palace following his conquest of the Spanish Armada, and I am unaware of any historical evidence that Queen Elizabeth and Sir Walter Raleigh were ever linked romantically, although Raleigh was certainly in and out of favor with the Queen at court during her reign.
Cate Blanchette did a superb job of playing the pale Queen with her wide range of emotions — regal and starkly beautiful, at times fearful and even petty, yet overall – triumphant.
One moody scene had Cate wearing a long flowing white gown and walking barefoot through the grass in the night. It was very reminiscent of Galadriel’s well in Lord of the Rings. Another LOTR-esque scene depicted the lighting of the signal fires along the English coast.
In another scene which could have been lifted straight from Lord of the Rings or Braveheart, Elizabeth dons full armor, mounts her war steed and delivers the “Going to Battle” speech. While Cate wears the armor well, and the scene is stirring, it would have better served a movie about Joan of Arc than one about Queen Elizabeth.
The movie has its flaws, especially its historical liberties, and it has some partial nudity and violent scenes, but I give it a thumbs up for sheer entertainment value.
PG-13, 1 hour and 54 minutes

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