Two faiths, two empires, two rulers - colliding in 1588. Papist Spain wants to bring down the heretic Elizabeth. Philip is building an armada but needs a rationale to attack. With covert intrigue, Spain sets a trap for the Queen and her principal secretary, Walsingham, using as a pawn Elizabeth's cousin Mary Stuart, who's under house arrest in the North. The trap springs, and the armada sets sail, to rendezvous with French ground forces and to attack. During these months, the Virgin Queen falls in love with Walter Raleigh, keeping him close to court and away from the sea and America. Is treachery or heroism at his heart? Does loneliness await her passionate majesty?Written by
Director Shekhar Kapur filmed Elizabeth's personal time (ex. bathing) in circular sets to reflect the infinite questioning of her mind, aspiring to a different kind of freedom and exploration. He filmed Elizabeth's professional moments (ex. throne room) in rectangular rooms that enclosed her with straight walls and corners. See more »
Dr. John Dee is shown advising Elizabeth shortly before the Armada invasion of 1588. Historically, Dee spent 1583-89 traveling in mainland Europe. See more »
Spain is the most powerful empire in the world. Philip of Spain, a devout Catholic, has plunged Europe into holy war. Only England stands against him, ruled by a Protestant Queen.
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With a view clearly centered on the woman behind the figure of the queen, "Elizabeth" is a passionate portrait of the XVI century. The court, the costumes, the social hierarchy and procedures are thoroughly depicted showing both the richness and darkness of the time.
The queen (Cate Blanchett) is the main character, showed intimately, almost striped before our eyes. She starts as a monarch and with the pose one would expect from her. And yet soon we see that there is something more to that persona: the loneliness, the sense of duty with the lack of freedom it implies, the desire to love and simply be loved in return; to be loved by what she really his and only that.
As she lowers her defenses and allows Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen), a charming pirate with news of a world she has never seen, to come close, we could almost say she was only a woman during that time; no title, no obligations, pure will to be what she feels like. However the intrigue around the crown rushes in, the plot thickens, and the woman is set aside, giving room for the queen. It is after this, when it comes to the end of the movie, that something changes. Our intimate view of her character is lost and instead there seem's to be a little twist, as the overall feeling of the movie changes to that of an epic. In the final shots there's almost a deification of her and it's hard to believe it. And most of all it's less interesting because the woman behind the "queen" is more captivating than the idea of the "queen".
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