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Elizabeth [HD DVD]

Cate Blanchett , Geoffrey Rush , Shekhar Kapur    R (Restricted)   HD DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (358 customer reviews)
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One of the big Elizabethan-era films of 1998, Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth serves up a brimming goblet of religious tension, political conspiracy, sex, violence, and war. England in 1554 is in financial and religious turmoil as the ailing Queen "Bloody" Mary attempts to restore Catholicism as the national faith. She has no heir, and her greatest fear--that her Protestant half-sister Elizabeth will assume the throne after her death--is realized. Still, the late Queen Mary has her loyalists. The newly crowned Elizabeth finds herself knee-deep in dethroning schemes while also dodging assassination attempts. Her advisers (including Sir William Cecil, superbly played by Richard Attenborough) beg her to marry any one of her would-be suitors to stabilize England's empire. No matter that she already has a lover. The passionate Robert Dudley (Joseph Fiennes) is married, however, and shows he cannot stand up to the growing strength of the Queen. With the help of her aide Walsingham (Geoffrey Rush), Elizabeth strikes against her enemies before they get to her first. But her rise ultimately entails rejecting love and marriage to redefine herself as the indisputable Virgin Queen.

Cate Blanchett's Oscar-nominated performance as the naive and vibrant princess who becomes the stubborn and knowing queen is both severe and sympathetic. Her ethereal, pale beauty is equal parts fire and ice, her delivery of such lines as "There will be only one mistress here and no master!" expressed with command rather than hysterics. As striking as Blanchett's performance is the film's lavish and dramatic production design. The cold, dark sets paired with the lush costuming show the golden age of England's monarchy emerging from the Middle Ages. Rich velvet brushes over the dank stones while power is achieved at any price, and with such attention to physical detail, Elizabeth fully immerses you into its compelling chronicle of pioneering feminism and revisionist history. --Shannon Gee


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good product ! Aug. 22 2009
Format:DVD
Fast shipping ! The DVD is working well.

I was just a little disappointed that the French track is not on DVD.

However, the French subtitles are greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but wildly inaccurate July 17 2004
Format:DVD
If you're not bothered by historical inaccuracies, then go ahead and check out this movie. It's extremely well-acted for the most part, although Fiennes's Dudley turns milksop in an entirely fictitious turn of events that aligns him with a Catholic plot to replace Elizabeth with Mary, Queen of Scots (whose death in the movie is all wrong, too). Events from decades later are all condensed into what is clearly supposed to be the first year or two of Elizabeth's reign (which begain in 1558): Norfolk didn't rebel until the Northern Rebellion in 1569; Elizabeth wasn't excommunicated until 1570; she didn't even enter the Anjou courtship until 1578; and Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded in public, not murdered in her bed, and that not until almost thirty years later, in 1587! Furthermore, in 1558 Lord Robert Dudley was not yet Earl of Leicester (he wouldn't be until Elizabeth gave him that title in 1564, and he was NEVER a duke!), and as another reviewer has pointed out, there's certainly more drama and intrigue in his REAL story than the movie allows -- he was rumored to have murdered his wife, Amy Robsart, after all.
I won't go on, but my point is that there is a hell of a lot wrong with the storyline that didn't even need to be wrong. It's still an entertaining movie, as I mentioned before, and Cate Blanchett really does deliver an exceptional performance. But at least some sort of gesture towards a measure of historical accuracy would have been appreciated.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must July 25 2013
By Kawter
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If only for Cate Blanchett's performance, this movie is a must have. I am still mesmerized by this woman's acting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Elizabeth June 17 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is excellent British drama, with wonderful acting, scenery, architecture, and a good review of history, notwithstanding some mis-representation of facts.
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Format:DVD
I'm giving it 4 stars because of the glorious Cate Blanchett, but if you're after accuracy, keep walking. I winced at the more obvious faux pas (factually) and just about lost my lunch at the casting of Ralph Fiennes as Dudley. I prefer something rather more manly (like The Virgin Queen's Tom Hardy). Suspension of disbelief is all well and good but even roofies would not persuade me that the glorious Faery Queen would give old Raffie a second look, except to cast him as a transvestite in a play. I'm not royalty, but even I wouldn't have done him for practice. That's the least of my quibbles, though. For sheer entertainment, this is a pretty film and Cate is wonderful as usual. As far as history goes, it's well wide of the mark but I guess that's Hollywood for you, which is why I prefer my Gloriana done by the BBC.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The First Half of The Virgin Queen's Reign July 11 2007
Format:DVD
Elizabeth is a beautifully shot film directed by Shekhar Kapur. The cast was a whose who of future stars and past cinema giants. The cast includes Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston, Kelly MacDonald, Daniel Craig, Vincent Cassel, Emily Mortimer, Richard Attenborough, Fanny Ardant, Joseph Fiennes and of course Cate Blanchett. It is screen legend John Gielgud's final picture before his death at the age of 96 and he gets to play the Pope. English pop singer Lily Allen also appears in a small role when she was just 12 years old. The film portrays the early part of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England. She is the [...] child of King Henry VIII and Anne Bolyn, and was queen for 45 years starting in 1558 and until her death. The period she ruled was often regarded as the most significant period of growth in England's past. Her legacy is a positive one and she is often recognized as the most highly regarded British monarch in history.

The film follows how Elizabeth became queen after Mary I of England's death. It deals with many issues regarding the fact that she is Protestant and was imprisoned for allegations that she planned to assassinate Queen Mary I. She is released when Mary I dies and Elizabeth becomes queen. Many conspire against her, from Catholics to the Scots and the French. It also follows Elizabeth's love affair with Robert Dudley (Joseph Fiennes). The film ends fittingly with Elizabeth's reign entering stability just before the beginning of the English Renaissance. I say fittingly because a sequel to Elizabeth is being released this fall and it will no doubt exhibit the true nature of Elizabeth's legacy and the reverence held toward her to this day. It covers a more interesting period in my opinion.

I actually had a problem with the concept of this film.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well acted, but distorts the actual events July 16 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Elizabeth is a well acted and entertaining movie, with some very well done performances and is visually stunning. The problem is that the writers decided to change so many events, that it ends up unnecessarily distorting the actual history.
To see a factual, well-acted, and still superb movie of the same era, get the 1971 film "Mary Queen of Scots" with Vanessa Redgrave. Not only does this follow the actual events, but the drama of 2 queens battling for power is so forcibly played that you can watch it over and over
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sumptuous & stunning Feb. 18 2006
By paula b
Format:DVD
i adored this film,
it is a sumptuous production, the cast list itself is dazzling, cate makes a great queen bess, being the precocious, high-spirited young girl, to the newly crowned queen, being violently awakened to the role she has inherited, to the jaded & disillusioned older queen.
visually cate portrays regal grace & elegance & also the vanity that apparently was this queen's achilles!
joseph fiennes expresses a puppy dog devotion, but shows more conscience & less ruthless cunning than is legend of dudley's ambitions.
emily mortimer playing kat ashley, who i believe was in reality, quite an elderly woman, being elizabeth's childhood nanny.
geoffrey rush is totally excellent as walsingham, being so fiercely devoted to HM & viciously protective, to any lengths! against any threats to her.
also, attenborough is a good lord burley, portraying a stuffy, traditional & missionary atttitude & judgement.
one of my favourite characters here is norfolk (chris eccleston) as he plays such an evil & jealous role so brilliantly, with sour expressions & resentment with every breath,
also daniel craig's screen presence within his role is quite stunning.
there is an all-star cast & a colourful array of characters, whether factual or fictional, greatly entertaining, & the whole production is artisticly created & beautiful to watch, the whole project showing it was created with such care & attention to detail.
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