Saturday, December 5, 2015


Movie Name: Elizabeth
Year of Release: 1998
Director: Shekhar Kapur
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Fiennes, Richard Attenborough, Fanny Ardant, Vincent Cassel, Kathy Burke, Kelly Macdonald, Edward Hardwicke, Emily Mortimer, John Gielgud, Eric Cantona, Daniel Craig, James Frain, Jamie Foreman
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Synopsis & Review:
Shekhar Kapur's "Elizabeth" was one of the revelations of 1998, garnering a series of Oscar nominations (winning one for best makeup), and ending up on several critics lists of the best films of the year. The film focuses on the story of Elizabeth, the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, who ascends to the throne following the death of her half sister, Queen Anne (in the 16th century). Elizabeth has to navigate the interests of the court, all of whom have different agendas. She is having an affair with a childhood sweetheart, Robert Dudley, though multiple advisers are wanting her to marry other more suitable men in order to secure her throne. As Elizabeth becomes more aware of the politics of court, the more assertive and calculating she becomes, learning to deal with her enemies in a ruthless fashion.
Shekhar Kapur who started his career as an actor, reached in the mid 90s a certain popularity due to the critical praise of his film "Bandit Queen" (released in 1994). "Elizabeth" is a interesting look into the machinations of politics at times when women had little to no power, and were used as pawns in order to secure suitable positions in different nations. The film slowly showcases the evolution of Elizabeth, from a young, innocent waif, believing in love, to someone who becomes aware of the rulings of politics and power, and how ambition makes men stop at nothing. It's a role that allows Cate Blanchett to truly shine, as she evolves across the feature, showcasing the nuances of a woman who learns what it truly means to dominate a court and a kingdom (and it was, after Gillian Armstrong's "Oscar and Lucinda", her first really big role which showcased her amazing talent).
The director smartly casts a series of fantastic supporting actors to weave this tapestry of devious politics, with Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston and Kathy Burke all creating great characters. The cinematography from Remi Adefarasin is stunning as are the costumes from Alexandra Byrne. A very good film worth watching.