Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 01/27/99 10:38:08

"I did not expect to enjoy this anywhere *near* as much as I did."
5 stars (Awesome)

Oh Lordy, did this film not suck at all.

As you know by now, Cate Blanchett won awards for her role here, and there's a reason.

She's goooooood, fella.

In fact, everything about this film is good. Yes, it's a period piece, generally notorious for extracting large amounts of boredom and yawns from fine young stallions like myself. But there's a difference in the wind with Elizabeth....

It isn't up itself. Elizabeth doesn't seek to be hoity toit. It's essentially a story about deception, death, unrequitable love and good versus evil. If you set it in an office block and put a balding egomaniac in the lead it could be the next Die Hard.

Elizabeth is the illegitimate daughter of Henry VIII. When the Queen dies without a male heir, the bastard-girl is next in line... but she's Protestant and the lords of England will not under any circumstances let a Protty in charge of a Catholic land.

They set about trying to usurp the good Liz, then they set about trying to marry her off, then they try to shame her, but the good Queen Liz has the balls of her father and fights them every step of the way with the assistance of her bodyguard (Geoffrey Rush).

The cast is a whiz-bang affair. Even the "why is he here" role given to Eric Cantona is perfectly cast. Jo "sneaky relationship-buster" Fiennes is apt, the senior Attenborough is crusty enough, but Blanchett is just extreme. It wasn't long ago she was doing bad Australian TV mini-series, but she has talent to burn and will go far.

The direction, by Shekhar Kapur, is awesome. There's not a boring minute of this flick, and everything builds and tangles nicely throughout.

Be you a hardcore action fan or a romantic at heart or just an intelligent being... go see Elizabeth. You'll enjoy the thang.

Oh, and Kelly McDonald is in it. And she has sex! YEAH!

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