Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen

Queen Elizabeth I (1553 - 1603)
Queen Elizabeth I (1553 - 1603)

Movie Review

The movie Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen covers one of my most favorite time periods, the end of Queen Mary's (aka Bloody Mary) reign through the beginning of Queen Elizabeth I's reign. This version of Queen Elizabeth's life in the 16th century, released in 1998, is one of the best historical films I have viewed. Nothing out of period was spotted, and I looked. Yes, the English was more contemporary British, but that was for viewer understanding. How many truly know and comprehend Elizabethan English? I know a few from Renaissance Faires, but.....this was done expertly, allowed you to view this particular time period, feel it through the main character, Elizabeth; see what the 16th century truly was like. Well worth the 2 hours and 3 minutes in length. I wanted more as it ended grandly and eloquently, as Elizabeth I truly was.

Loved how the young Elizabeth matured into the Queen who eliminates her enemies and is solely married to England (a Virgin Queen). This movie was set at just the right pace. Hats off to Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen costumers, props, script, and all else included in this productions creation. A must see for any history buff!

The cast were excellent in their roles. Saw many faces I recognized including Daniel Craig who has performed in some James Bond movies as the character James Bond. Great to see Christopher Eccleston (well known as the Ninth Doctor in the television series Doctor Who ) who portrayed the Duke of Norfolk expertly. Even Richard Attenborough (as Sir William Cecil), Geoffrey Rush (played Sir Francis Walsingham), and John Gielgud (had the honor of playing the Pope at the Vatican) were a delight to see again; perfect performances! Must admit Cate Blanchett (as Elizabeth) did a marvelous job in a very difficult role. She definitely had done her homework to act the part of Queen Elizabeth superbly and flawless.

The main roles in order of appearance were: Rod Cubertson (Master Ridley), Terrance Rigby (Bishop Gardiner), Christopher Eccleston (Duke of Norfolk), Amanda Ryan (Lettice Howard), Kathy Burke (Queen Mary Tudor, Elizabeth's 1/2 sister), George Yiasoumi (King Phillip II of Spain, Queen Mary's husband), James Frain (Alvaro de la Quidra), Jamie Foreman (Earl of Sussex), Edward Hardwicke (Earl of Arundel), Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth I), Emily Mortimer (Kat Ashbey, closest friend and highest Lady in Waiting to Queen Elizabeth I), Joseph Fiennes (Robert Dudley, Earl of Leichester, who was believed to be Elizabeth's lover), Kelly MacDonald (Isabel Knollys), Geoffrey Rush (Sir Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth's 2nd Cheif Advisor and in charge of her personal safety upon her becoming Queen), Richard Attenborough (Sir William Cecil who was Queen Elizabeth's first Advisor in the beginning of Elizabeth's reign), Michael Beint (Bishop Carlisle), Eric Cantona (Monsieur de Foix), Fanny Ardant (Mary de Guise of Scotland), John Gielgud (The Pope), and Daniel Craig (John Balliard, Pope's messenger who carried documents from the Pope that were the greatest threat to Queen Elizabeth).

Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen is rated R, primarily because of subject material and certain period-correct grotesque scenes. I recommend this film for adult viewers only. Do see!

Enjoy!

4 stars for Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen

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