Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Rated PG-13; Directed by Shekhar Kapur; Starring Cate Blanchett, Clive Owen, Geoffrey Rush, Abbie Cornish, Jordi Mollà
A lot happens in Elizabeth: The Golden Age — assassination plots, love, royal scheming, and a planned invasion by the Spanish Armada. With all that it covers the movie has problems as a nice, tidy story, but we are talking about royalty, history, and love. It’s hard to make it tidy.
The film — a sequel to 1998’s Elizabeth, which also starred Cate Blanchett and was directed by Shekhar Kapur — explores Queen Elizabeth’s (Blanchett) later years. It’s 1588 and Elizabeth is still unmarried, still finding counsel with Sir Walsingham (Geoffrey Rush), and still fending off the plans of the royal heads of other European countries. This time it is King Phillip of Spain (Jordi Mollà), who desires to change England from a Protestant nation to a Catholic one and put Mary Stuart (Samantha Morton) on the throne. He also has a huge armada to help make it so. Queen Elizabeth has no armada, but she does have the charming Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen) and her willingness to stand against Spain.
There is a lot going on in this movie. Though it is scattered, the film still creates a dynamic image of the historical characters of the time. Blanchett’s Elizabeth is determined to rule wisely while struggling with her emotions. Clive Owen makes an incredibly dashing Raleigh. No wonder Elizabeth had trouble controlling those emotions.. The rest of the cast is good (Samantha Morton and Jordi Mollà especially shine). The costumes and sets are gorgeous.
Elizabeth: The Golden Age gives us an involving look at a woman and a country facing their greatest challenges. Though untidy, it is an entertaining jumble.