Elizabeth The Golden Age
Major Movie Role
The charter vessel Ocean Dancer has been involved in many interesting expeditions and I was intrigued to hear about its role in a major movie. In her role the vessel was used as a platform for filming and whilst not seen in the movie it is yet another string to her bow. Her skipper John relayed that the boat had been involved in the making of the hit movie "Elizabeth", released in 2007, a quick summary of which follows:
Director: Shekar Kapur
Synopsis: 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?
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
The movie "Elizabeth - The Golden Age" is not my preferred choice of movie and I cannot therefore comment on the movie. That is not to say however that it is not a fine movie, I feel it only fair to give you an unbiased movie review and hereby present one given by Wendy Ide representing "The Times" November 1, 2007.
Pomp and pageantry fill every corner of every shot; pennants dance, lances rattle and soldiers creak in their newly forged armour. Each scene in Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth: The Golden Age is taut with high drama, every moment another condensed historical highlight. And at the centre of it all, magnificent in her opulent gowns and regal even in her vanity, is Queen Elizabeth I, the role reprised impressively by Cate Blanchett. Gone is the gauche young woman who clattered unsteadily into court like a foal. In her place is a formidable stateswoman. But there is a chink in the armour of this warrior queen – like every woman who took her beauty for granted, she’s beginning to realise that other, younger, girls outshine her. She eyes Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen) appreciatively, but his attentions are elsewhere.
Blanchett at her best is a force of nature, and here she’s superb. You can’t take your eyes off her face, which is no small achievement given the outlandish lavishness of some of her costumes. Her searing delivery of a rousing prebattle speech brilliantly evokes a monarch who realises she has to be both king and queen for her people. Blanchett’s dominance of the film comes at a cost. Owen’s Raleigh lacks depth and Abbie Cornish is rather anaemic as Elizabeth Throckmorton, Raleigh’s lover.
Kapur’s film is visually arresting, each frame a work of art in miniature. But there is something rather breathless about the storytelling. It’s a headlong dash through history that could have benefited from an occasional opportunity for contemplation. Nowhere is this more apparent than when Samantha Morton is on screen. Her Mary Queen of Scots is magnificent, but an all too brief part of the picture. This is a film that could have benefited from being at least 40 minutes longer.
Certificate 12A, 114mins.
Colin Brittain 1999 - 2022