Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Elizabeth: The Golden Age


One of the all-time most gorgeous films ever, in terms of costumes (it won the Oscar) and settings and photography. And that, plus Cate Blanchett’s performance (always, it seems), are the only good things I can say about it. Let’s not even get into the myriad historical inaccuracies here; it’s not meant to be educational (and yet, I do have to mention that, far from defeating the Spanish Armada virtually single-handed, Sir Walter Raleigh—such a stupid git!—was ashore the whole time). It’s meant to be drama, and for me it failed at all levels in that intention. Ponderously slow-paced, with turgid dialogue, and mournful music … everyone moves like they were in a church processional most of the time. There are long, long pauses between most lines, which, when they come, are laughably trite. Where is the meat, the passion of the first Elizabeth which, though just as inaccurate, at least gave a sense of the times and the court intrigues. I didn’t care at all about anything that happened. But my, my, my, it is glorious to look at.