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Overall Rating
4.26

Awesome55.17%
Worth A Look: 26.21%
Average: 11.72%
Pretty Bad: 3.45%
Total Crap: 3.45%

6 reviews, 109 user ratings


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Elizabeth
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by Natasha Theobald

"Political intrigue and lush romance"
4 stars

Cate Blanchett carries Elizabeth from idealistic young woman to monarch in this tale of religion, politics, and love. We see her transform from a breathy romantic into a woman of great intellect, strength, and power. She loses her innocence and gains the loyalty and admiration of the country she was destined to rule.

Elizabeth is the next in line for the throne after her half sister Mary, a Catholic. Catholicism is the religion of England, giving the group and the Pope great power. Their fear is that Elizabeth, a former Protestant, will not adhere to Catholicism if she gains the monarchy. Despite the attempts of the Duke of Norfolk to get Mary to sign for the execution of Elizabeth, she dies before he can succeed. The country is thrown into turmoil as England is challenged at it's borders and from within by foes both distant and unnervingly nearby.

Elizabeth counts among her allies the man she loves, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, as well as Sir William Cecil and Sir Francis Walsingham, a man both brutal and brilliant. With their aid, she is able to navigate the first, most uncertain days of her reign. Unfortunately, in the case where her heart leads the way, she may stumble and fall. Luckily, she has the strength and tenacity to pick herself back up and find a new path to her goals.

The movie is filled with opulent settings and rich, beautiful decoration, but it doesn't have the chilly air that many similar films express. The costumes are elegant without seeming overwrought. Most importantly, the cast never disappears in the design but, rather, brings it forward, giving both elements added power.

Cate Blanchett brings Elizabeth to life, making her emotional without seeming weak. She starts the film open to everything the world has to offer, but, through the course of events depicted, she becomes more wary and complex, acting and reacting to forces good and, more often, evil that pepper her path. Christopher Eccleston, as the Duke of Norfolk, her chief opposition, is the villain of the piece from Elizabeth's point of view, but he is more than a mustache-twirling baddie. He is played to the strength of his convictions, however selfish his personal motives may be.

Geoffrey Rush is Sir Francis Walsingham, the queen's best protection against a foe she does not yet understand. We meet him as he foils an assassination attempt and calmly slits his would-be killer's throat. Rush plays the character as charming when necessary, watchful, and knowing. He represents security, the man willing to do what needs to be done behind the scenes to make everything out front look and be right. Joseph Fiennes plays the other man in the queen's life, her lover and friend. The early scenes with them together have a warm, passionate glow. He is dashing and charming, wooing the lady herself, as well as all others around him. When we learn that this may be a flaw of his character, Fiennes is appropriately forlorn and believably desperate to hold onto that which he may have lost.

The film is not of the dry, historical persuasion. The politics are played for great entertainment, and the romance is refreshingly sentimental. There are some odd plot elements and the revelations are sometimes a bit uneven with the overall tone, coming fast and furious but lacking some attention that may have been required. However, the cast is exquisite, and the pictures are gorgeous to behold. Overall, this film is a rousing statement about the limits of power and passion.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=443&reviewer=317
originally posted: 11/29/02 03:36:49
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User Comments

3/19/10 Monday Morning Great production value but fairly boring story. Acting is overrated. 3 stars
1/10/09 Anonymous. a really well made film that's interesting and has cate blanchett. :D 4 stars
11/08/07 Stu S Film was too long and dragged in parts. Acting was great, yet script was underwhelming 3 stars
11/02/07 mb Some good moments but lacking life 3 stars
8/14/07 William Goss Captivating drama brings out thebest in stuffy period setting with swell acting, direction. 4 stars
4/30/07 jeanne You could drive a truck through the historical inaccuracies. See "Elizabeth R" instead! 2 stars
12/28/06 jaime Cate was robbed of Oscar for this role! 4 stars
9/14/06 Jim Well acted, but I still don't know what made Elizabeth tick. 3 stars
12/02/05 Deepanker Attri I believe that this movie was simply brilliant ! I happen to like movies based on history ! 5 stars
10/21/05 R.W.Welch Impressive production and acting. Moderately interesting story line. 4 stars
8/25/05 ES monk assassins! how cool is that, this movie was amazing 5 stars
3/12/05 Aaron wride lord robert is really lush 5 stars
3/12/05 dennis i thought it was very good but there wasnt a black actor in the film 5 stars
3/12/05 Watkins i thought it was a bunch of bull shit 2 stars
12/13/04 Jill The script was amazing, Micheal Hirst should have won an award 5 stars
11/16/04 Leanna This is one of the best movies i've ever seen. cate is awesome and you should really see it 5 stars
11/07/04 lisa Great Movie!! 5 stars
11/05/04 bmbnm bh 1 stars
10/05/04 anthony literally laughable in places 3 stars
7/25/04 S.F Good film. Thoroughly inspired by 'Queen Margot' 4 stars
5/19/04 Marionette i just saw it and i'm so obsessed with it right now, it deserves the oscar. 5 stars
3/09/04 Jaco Visser Magnificent! Blanchett just has it! 5 stars
2/05/04 PaulB Hardly one accurate historical fact. Watch Elizabeth R if you want an honest portrait. 1 stars
11/23/03 amy williams lord roberts is gay 1 stars
10/02/03 Mopsa Cate & Geoffrey. Should I say more? 5 stars
5/17/03 George Jung Should have added "..will fuck you up." to the title. Great movie. 5 stars
5/06/03 Jareth Cate's performance is brilliant. That woman is a star. 4 stars
4/21/03 Mystique great 5 stars
4/02/03 John Sheahan The film is gay 1 stars
3/13/03 Marie Moyer This film is the best "Girl Power" movie I've seen in a long time! "Long Live The Queen!!!" 5 stars
3/11/03 Shadaan Felfeli Perfect historical drama.Blanchett deserved the oscar. 4 stars
3/06/03 Dina Smith Aside from the historical flaws, I really enjoyed this film. Blanchett is the greatest 4 stars
2/22/03 lex excellent 4 stars
11/29/02 Charles Tatum Lovely 5 stars
9/01/02 movie guy great 5 stars
7/05/02 Gene Smilgiewicz My favorite film of the year... made me a serious Cate Blanchett fan. 5 stars
6/22/02 Bart Stylish and intriguing. Great period piece. 4 stars
1/21/02 Andrew Carden Dark and Unlikeable Movie. Good Cast However. 3 stars
8/29/01 Gary Blanchett is fantastic in this stylish but overrated film. A solid, interesting movie. 3 stars
4/23/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Blanchett was indeed ripped off at the Oscars. But I hate Gwyneth's fisheating guts, sooo. 4 stars
4/01/01 nikky an amazing movie, for once a period movie is not dull and slow 5 stars
3/14/01 Sthenno An absolutely beautifully directed film with a fantastic cast, great costumes and music. 5 stars
2/12/01 Jake What a compelling and gripping story. Cate Blanchett and Jeffrey Rush were great. 5 stars
2/02/01 Amanda Harder Wonderful Film 5 stars
11/29/00 Cristopher Revilla it was good, not great, there was too much sex at the end, still a good movie 4 stars
11/10/00 The Red Queen Marvelous . . . I love Fanny Ardant as Mary de Guise. 4 stars
9/06/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble One of the greatest movies of all time! Blanchett robbed at Oscars! Die Ms. Paltrow Die! 5 stars
8/17/00 Terrie Smith Stunning performance from Blanchett; Geoffrey Rush equally good. Well done costume drama. 5 stars
7/13/00 Tom Excellent film. Blanchett deserved the Oscar! 5 stars
6/06/00 Pete great 5 stars
5/23/00 just call me bad asss just blew me a way... but then again i love a bit of sex and violence with my history! 5 stars
5/06/00 Paul Very good 5 stars
3/10/00 Kyle Broflovski I like Cate Blanchett, but I'm sorry to say this really isn't my thing. 3 stars
10/27/99 Pat Lawlor MAGNIFICENT! 5 stars
10/11/99 Weird Andy Needed more beheadings and burnings at the stake. Starting with the director. 2 stars
6/09/99 PurityJustBegs Passionate snd enthralling, Cate Blanchett is a marvel...should have won the Oscar.. 5 stars
6/07/99 Elizaveta Much better than Shakespeare! Much! Cate should have gotten the Oscar... 5 stars
5/05/99 little jerry The powerhouse opening scene says you're in for something special.At last ,a real film.A 10 5 stars
4/06/99 Annearchy, Damme, Satanne Elizabeth ain't no virgin queen is all I know. 4 stars
4/05/99 doowopl A piece of english historical chauvinism. But a brilliant female-character 3 stars
4/04/99 Albert Ugh. "The Queen's Dress is Poisoned." So's this shitty movie. 1 stars
4/03/99 Lily Drool, drool, pant, pant! A most luscious film. 5 stars
3/27/99 Kat Simply amazing! 5 stars
3/27/99 t really, really good 5 stars
3/25/99 Powrhug what a luscious film! And beautifully acted. 5 stars
3/25/99 catalina MUCH better than shakespeare in lame!!!! 5 stars
3/24/99 JOE great movie. 4stars!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/24/99 Alisa Loved it! Cate was great! 5 stars
3/22/99 haz_cop can you give me a sex picture 5 stars
3/18/99 boschy one the best movies compared to all the crap out there right now. 5 stars
3/14/99 Ah Dooey Amazing! Just amazing! 5 stars
3/12/99 Briona An all around wonderful movie. The cast, direction, everything! 5 stars
3/11/99 Meg Cate Blanchett is amazing!!! While the directing sucks, new twist on history inrigues 5 stars
3/09/99 Katie Cate Blanchet is great, film is good, but not as good as it could have been. 4 stars
3/09/99 The Buffy Chick fucking awful! 2 stars
3/07/99 L> S> Burris Excellent film 5 stars
3/05/99 ^Cesaro Elizabeth was portrayed as clueless and weak, contrary to history. Weak transistions. 2 stars
3/04/99 Bobby Luv Blanchett truimphant, Rush consistantly bad ass, tone a bit scattershot but you'll catch up 5 stars
3/04/99 Andrew Feland Rush gave the best performance, film was awesome aside from the machine-gun-style cutting. 5 stars
3/01/99 Blythe Somewhat flat but beautiful and fascinating, like a painting. 4 stars
2/27/99 Kenda Greenwood I was (unexpectedly) moved by the story of her transformation 4 stars
2/26/99 kitty houston engaging, captivating, sexy, love it! 5 stars
2/19/99 The Graduate Blanchett gives a very nuanced performance, and Walsingham (Rush) kicks all ass! 4 stars
2/18/99 Derek Damn good Cate. Cool G. Rush character. Fiennes too pouty/pretty boy. 4 stars
2/15/99 emma violent, sexual, graphic, the best movie ticket you'll ever buy. 5 stars
2/14/99 stickensnick Best movie ever!!!!! Blanchett is excellent!!! 5 stars
1/27/99 Goofaloo Not a bad thing to say, which is odd for a historical flick. Everyone is superb. 5 stars
1/22/99 Faustof Good 5 stars
1/16/99 vicky goddard Fucking great - all the way around!! 5 stars
1/15/99 Marie Fantastic!!! 5 stars
1/10/99 Suzz loved it 5 stars
1/03/99 Dasha Great movie, Cate Blanchett is Queen. 5 stars
12/31/98 Ron Skibbens good movie that makes history live with enough detail to keep you interested, but not too m 4 stars
12/30/98 jvt one of the year's best 5 stars
12/20/98 Bats Tone very different from what I expect for an "Elizabethan" costume drama 4 stars
12/14/98 Larry One of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen. 5 stars
12/13/98 Claire Looked good, but lacked any pretension to historical accuracy 3 stars
12/10/98 Bryan Wonderful! 5 stars
12/10/98 Marion Davies Great film despite historical innacuracies 4 stars
12/01/98 Evil Buffy Beautiful film. C. Eccelston's prosthetic head was awsome. great. scary pretty informitive. 5 stars
11/30/98 Chris Thomas Amazing! 5 stars
11/25/98 L. Stulman Terrific Picture - But could have been filmed with more light - some scenes were too dark 5 stars
11/24/98 Mr.Pink Good performances and lavish set and costume designs,but uneven storytelling diminishes it 3 stars
11/22/98 Johny Brilliant direction brings up sometimes mediocre script. Cate Blanchett is great. 4 stars
11/14/98 mo typical Bollywood -Indian movie style 5 stars
11/06/98 Lord Of The Dunce A stonking great film. Blanchett is superb. Recommend for all. 5 stars
11/03/98 hum wonderful to look at, terrific acting from blanchett and rush. jump cuts inapropriate. vg 4 stars
10/27/98 MR HOLLYWOOD !! "stick-the-camera-in-a-dark-corner-directing" gives this film the boost it needs. 4 stars
10/19/98 Aint-It-Cool Well put together all around, despite a few flaws. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  06-Nov-1998

UK
  N/A

Australia
  21-Oct-1998




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