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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sumptuous & stunning
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...
Published on Feb. 18 2006 by paula b

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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
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...
Published on July 16 2004


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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
This review is from: Elizabeth (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 "paula" (surrey, england!) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Elizabeth (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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but wildly inaccurate, July 17 2004
By 
This review is from: Elizabeth (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good product !, Aug. 22 2009
This review is from: Elizabeth (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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4.0 out of 5 stars The First Half of The Virgin Queen's Reign, July 11 2007
This review is from: Elizabeth (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. The nature of this period in Elizabeth's life didn't sit well with me in terms of transferring to a motion picture. The way liberties are taken with historical facts inject drama effectively and actually makes up for what should've been a fairly anti-climactic story. So her life becomes a bit of soap opera. Part of me thinks that if the film was pure history it still could've been good but perhaps not has marketable. I found it enjoyable either way. The sets and costumes are incredible and the cinematography is also worth praising. The real strength in Elizabeth is Cate Blanchett. She is the best actress of this generation and is amazing here. This may not seem like a timely review (it's about eight years overdue) but with the sequel coming out I recommend seeing Elizabeth. The sequel has Samantha Morton as Elizabeth's antagonist Mary, Queen of Scots and Clive Owen as Walter Raleigh. No doubt its release for the fall is setting it up for some major awards.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "I will have one mistress here and no master !", Jan. 10 2007
By 
M. B. Alcat "Curiosity killed the cat, but sa... (Hanoi, Vietnam) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Elizabeth (DVD)
The beginning of this movie is quite shocking: people being tortured, and shouting. We learn that they are Protestants, and that they don't agree with the religious beliefs of Queen Mary (Kathy Burke), a Catholic. Soon enough, a young woman is also arrested. She is Elizabeth (Cate Blanchett), stepsister to Mary, and a Protestant. Elizabeth is accused of treason, and sent to the Tower, in order to wait for her fate to be decided...

Of course, nothing happens, and our main character continues to live allowing the film to continue, but those first scenes give us a glimpse of what kind of life Elizabeth must have led in her youth, amid constant fear of execution and whispers of betrayal. Not much afterwards, though, Queen Mary dies and Elizabeth becomes Elizabeth I. She will have more power, but also new responsibilities and different threats...

Elizabeth will have to deal with the pressure of most of her advisors to choose soon among the candidates that have asked for her hand in marriage, but she is unable to marry the one she loves, Lord Robert Dudley (Joseph Fiennes). She is surrounded by many Catholic-led conspiracies, and by quite a few that wish her ill, starting by the powerful Duke of Norfolk (Christopher Eccleston). Despite that, and thanks to her inner strenght and the counsel of a new advisor, Sir Francis Walsingham (Geoffrey Rush), Elizabeth slowly becomes a ruler who is not afraid to make difficult decisions to stay in power, even if that involves killing those who plot against her. She seems to remember that "I am my father's daughter. I am not afraid of anything".

I believe that this movie tackles quite well the idea of how difficult it was to be a woman with power in Elizabeth's time, and how far a female ruler had to go to retain that power. The cast is superb, although I think that it is possible to say that Cate Blanchett's performance is the most remarkable one. I would like to add that the art direction was quite good, and that it helped to recreate the atmosphere of days long gone...

Of course, I am aware of the fact that this film is full of historical inaccuracies, but I already knew that it wasn't a documentary. Despite that, "Elizabeth" left me wanting to know more about the period in which all these events happened, and I am probably going to read a book on it :)

On the whole, I highly recommend this film. It is interesting, and different. "Elizabeth" doesn't have much to do with historical reality, but it was inspired by it, and it might spur you to learn more about the period through other sources. What is more important, you will get at least a clue of what drove a young woman like Elizabeth to remain single, married only to England...

Belen Alcat
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Splendidly Subtle Triumph!, April 10 2004
By 
Hannah (Illinois, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Elizabeth (DVD)
This movie, aside from blowing me away with its delicacy and its poignant portrayal of Elizabeth I, Queen of England, did something many other books and movies about royalty forget to make clear: "Elizabeth" characterizes Elizabeth I in such a way that we, the viewers, are forced to remember that she was a human and not just a famous monarch.
I disagree with the comments of those who feel that this film delineated Elizabeth as a weak woman who followed the whims of men. The fact was that, for that time period, Elizabeth wielded a great amount of power. She was young, and one can just imagine how hard it must have been to assume the throne above many accusing one of heresy. Yes, the film shows the time it took Elizabeth to get used to her role as Queen of England. But even our modern rulers typically cannot bounce right into a prestigious political role without making mistakes or feeling unsure of their own abilities, especially not when despised by a portion of their own people.
Especially toward the end of the film, I felt that a case was made for the strength of Elizabeth's character, rather than the weakness.
I especially enjoyed the costumes and the poignant musical selections; both were quite realistic, vibrant, and strategically placed.
I even felt that the historical portion of the movie was as well-done as can be expected from Hollywood.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I am of the opinion that the acting was absolutely superb, and that casting was perfect.
Through this film, history comes alive to tell the story of one woman's quest for self-validation in power.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a bold interpretation, Feb. 28 2004
By 
Kevin Pazyck (Rochester, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Elizabeth (DVD)
An slightly overlooked film of 1998 that profiled and jettisoned Cate Blanchett into the star she would obliviously become. Dynamic and fantastical roles such as this and Galadriel (of course of the Lord of the Rings trilogy) are the ones she is fit do excel in. She's been in other 'street reality' roles and those movies do not cater to her potential. Director Shekhar in additon did a wonderful job bringing out her performance as Elizabeth I.
A lot has been said about the historical accuracy of the movie. The movie would've insulted the intelligence of a lot of audiences had it tried to be an infallible translation. Movies that attempt to be a true documentorial journal often fail the attention of the audience. I'm sure Mel Gibson's Braveheart would've suffered greatly had it been historically compliant.What the film does do is mince fact with situational conjecture with entertaining results.
I found the cast overall to be well within reason of what the film was looking for. While Kathy Burke's portrayal of Mary Tudor might've raised the eyebrows of some, I believe it was a necessary element to help set the stage for her and Elizabeth's 'confrontation'. Vincent Kasssel's Duc d'Anjou was a comical and engaging personality.
Obviously apparent are all the visuals such as costumes, sets and an underscored detail to sound as well. A lot has been said of all of those aspects and they are merited. Shekhar Kapur had a style and vision for this film and it really shows onscreen.
The DVD comes with the congratulatory few extras and I liked Shekhar's commentary. It may dispel a few assumptions made by the casual movie-goer on his intentions for the project. I may have given the DVD four stars, but it would not have reflected the experience and honest effort put in.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great Elizabethan phantasmagoria., Feb. 11 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Elizabeth (DVD)
Several reviewers have commented on how little this movie has to to with specific history, and they are quite correct.As history, the movie is a mishmash of events that occurred years apart, together with a fair amount of "vigorous fancy". This isn't really a historical film in the usual sense, but a tremendous historical fantasia-on-the-facts, very much like Josef von Sternberg's similar film from the thirties, THE SCARLET EMPRESS, with Marlene Dietrich as Catherine the Great, or for that matter, John Boorman's Arthurian fantasy EXCALIBUR. Like these movies, visual impact and atmosphere are running at about 400 horsepower, and, like THE SCARLET EMPRESS, the version of the world it presents is very fantasticated. The Czarist court in the 18th century barely resembled the Grimm's Fairy Tales world von Sternberg creates in the Dietrich film, the Dark Ages were nothing like the shining plate-armored legend-world of EXCALIBUR, and the Tudor court barely resembled the incredible renaissance fantasy shown in ELIZABETH. Once you accept that the film is about Elizabeth I in a general, rather than a specific sense, you'll be able to appreciate it, and can stop being annoyed by the fact that, say, Robert Dudley was never complicit in any plots against the Queen (If you want to see a more historically accurate version of Elizabeth's reign, try the equally-terrific-in-a-different-way ELIZABETH R miniseries, with Glenda Jackson). And for all of ELIZABETH's deviations from fact, the movie ends with a really penetrating insight into the way that Elizabeth helped ease England through the Reformation by transforming herself into "Gloriana",the Virgin Queen, living embodiment of the nation and a walking icon/substitute for the Virgin Mary. The acting is superb, Cate Blanchett gives a truly tremendous performance, and Shekar Kapur's direction is both powerful and elegant (Even if there is a minor blooper when Mary de Guise's corpse can be seen shutting its eyes).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heavy the head that wears the Crown, Nov. 19 2003
This review is from: Elizabeth (DVD)
I have always been fascinated by strong women. Throughout history, women like Cleopatra, Marie de Medici, Lucrezia Borgia, Catherine the Great, and Empress Maria Teresa Hapsburg have transcended the limits and constraints of biological destiny and gone on to exhibit far more fire and steel than their male contemporaries. One of the greatest is Elizabeth I, Queen of England in its "Golden Age", daughter of Henry VIII and sister of the mad and tyrannical Bloody Mary.
Director Shekhar Kapur's outlandishly good "Elizabeth" is the definitive chronicle of the Virgin Queen's troubled and frenzied reign. With the searingly, oddly beautiful Kate Blanchett in the lead, "Elizabeth" is a roaringly good and finely balanced tale, lushly delivered that conjures up a baleful and troubled time whose characters are perfectly classical but eerily contemporary and realistic.
This is a gorgeous but grim tale of metamorphosis---of both a young girl, and the nascent country entrusted to her.
Elizabeth did far more than merely escape the confines of her gender. The years of her youthful reign comprised a time of great peril to England's sovereignty, with the Kings of France and Spain vying to cripple a potential rival and seapower, hobbled though England was by her religious turmoil and "Popish Plots" that had blasted her green and pleasant land with civil war.
Director Kapur and screenwriter Michael Hirsh do a solid job of brewing up an atmosphere of malevolence and courtly turmoil, and cinematographer Remi Afarasin and costume designer Alexandra Byrne work some major magic by conjuring up the breathtaking spectacles of the young Elizabethan Court. The vibrant colors and phantasmagoric spectacles of Elizabeth's masques (particularly a clever little stage parody enacting the ravages of Elizabeth's knightly pirates against the Spanish treasure fleet) provide a fitting contrast to the pious gloom of her sister Mary's reign (Kathy Burke adds immeasurably to the film with a tiny but choice role as Bloody Mary).
"Elizabeth" is also blessed with stellar performances. Blanchett carries the movie with a prescient mix of poise, naivete, giddyness and terrible steel; her flawless diction, and Kapur's device of having a series of informal shots illustrating her practicing a speech to be given before the Lords, makes her character immediate, believable, and oddly vulnerable.
Joseph Fiennes excels as always the kind of role that suits him, that of a weak but cultivated sophisticate. Geoffrey Rush smoulders as Walsingham, the courtier who brings a little of Machiavelli to the British Isles; Chris Eccleston ("28 Days Later") turns in a nice performance as Norfolk, and serves as a finely-honed foil against Rush and the self-appointed engine of destruction for the Queen.
The movie is studded with smaller, but no less stellar, performances: Richard Attenborough avuncular as the fearful but well-intentioned Burghley; Vincent Cassel hysterical as the depraved Duc D'Anjou, James Frain spookily sinister as the Spanish ambassador Alvaro, the lovely Fanny Ardant tempting as the plotting, cruel Marie de Guise, Edward Hardwicke taking a break from Dr. Watson to play Lord Arundel, and even Sir John Gielgud as the Pope.
Kapur has created a classic with "Elizabeth", an absorbing and gorgeous film, full of palace intrigue, deception, and a decidedly impressive metamorphosis of Queen and Country. This is no lifeless period costume drama or dessicated history mounted in a cabinet, but a lush, sanguine, racingly plotted rumination on the nature of Power itself, and the often cruel and exhausting demands the Crown and Sceptre require of the one who wears and wields them.
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Elizabeth (Widescreen)
Elizabeth (Widescreen) by Shekhar Kapur (DVD - 2001)
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