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Elizabeth I (Sous-titres français)
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Helen Mirren's Elizabeth I could almost be cousin to her Jane Tennison. Like the dedicated detective chief inspector, Queen Bess is not without a heart, but work comes first and any romantic entanglements are doomed to fail. Fortunately, she has her friendships. Directed by Tom Hooper (Prime Suspect 6), this two-part HBO/Channel 4 tele-film begins in 1579. The Virgin Queen has been on the throne for 20 years, but has not married. Her closest relationship is with Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester (Jeremy Irons), whom the council will not allow her to wed. Because Robert wishes to produce an heir, he marries another, garnering Elizabeth's disfavor (and nor is he all that thrilled about her dalliance with Henry, the Duke of Anjou). In time, he'll return to her good graces. As she explains, "Friendship outlasts love and is stronger than love." Then, as his health begins to fails, she'll turn to his stepson, the dashing, if duplicitous Robert Devereaux, the Earl of Essex (Hugh Dancy, the Hooper-directed Daniel Deronda). Meanwhile, Mary, Queen of Scots (Barbara Flynn) plots against her Protestant cousin. Even after Mary makes her exit, plenty of other powerful Catholics will stop at nothing to seize the crown. Marked as much by triumph as tragedy, the role of Elizabeth I has been catnip for many illustrious actresses, notably Bette Davis, Glenda Jackson, and Cate Blanchett. Mirren's multi-faceted portrayal of the queen's golden years is a worthy addition to that canon and Irons is a particularly formidable foil. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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In the first half of the story, we examine Elizabeth's complex and passionate relationship with Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester, played with great depth by the always terrific Jeremy Irons; we also look at the pressure put on her to marry and to secure the English Protestant Church, and at her difficulty in deciding to have her Catholic cousin executed. While I will acknowledge that the film does get off to a little bit of a slow start, I think that this is actually a good thing because the audience is so ready and yet so unprepared for the first time Elizabeth I loses her temper. The first half covers about 10 years and is extremely well done; the writing, directing, costumes, sets, and acting are all absolutely first-rate. Patrick Malahide, Ian McDiarmid, Jeremy Irons, and of course Dame Helen are all spellbinding in every scene, and with the exception of Irons (who does not appear in the second half for reasons I will not specify so as not to spoil anything for those who haven't seen it), their performances continue to amaze in the second half.
By 1589 things had changed a great deal for Elizabeth I; her reign is secure but her self-esteem is not.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Appeared to follow the published biography by Paul Johnson to the letter, which was good. Avoided the absurd techniques that Hollywood often uses to "sell" a movie.Published on Oct. 15 2013 by Garry Bennett
I love this movie :) I wanted to add it to my DVD collection. Amazing actors and well directed! get it!Published on May 5 2013 by Jane Austen
came to my home in a timely maner came to my home well packageed looked like it was new thoug hdid nt know it was 2 diskedPublished on April 25 2012 by bugslythepug