(3/5) – historical drama
In Elizabeth (1998), Cate Blanchett plays Elizabeth the 1st, daughter of Henry the VIII and Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth gains the thrown after her half sister Mary dies. From the moment of her coronation, she is challenged on all fronts. Elizabeth meets the challenges, taking on all comers from the House of Lords, to Mary Queen of Scots and the Pope. She is in love with Lord Robert (Joseph Fiennes) but is pressured to marry elsewhere in order to ally England with powerful nations in its time of weakness.
Cate Blanchett is an undeniably terrific actress. My favourite Cate Blanchett performance was her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in Aviator (2004). She was very good in this movie as well. Geoffrey Rush (excellent in Shine (1996) and Shakespeare in Love (1998)) plays Elizabeth’s most loyal subject, Sir Francis Walsingham. I was particularly impressed by the unknown, to me, Christopher Eccleston who played the Duke of Norfolk, whose chief concern was, like her father before her, Elizabeth’s turning away from the Catholic Church.