Sunday, July 8, 2007

Period but Slow: Elizabeth

Directed by Shekhar Kapur
Released November 6, 1998

I hastily rented this 1998 Best Picture nominee after seeing a preview for the upcoming October release "The Golden Age", which I realized was a sequel. The upcoming film looks like a fantastic epic adventure, but this first film is not such. It is certainly very in-depth with all the costumes and the makeup, and I am proud to say that all the performances fit in very well to that time period. However, the denouement is somewhat slow and not terribly exciting. The opening credits are a bit strange, and the film is somewhat stylized in a bizarre sort of way. Cate Blanchett is very good as Elizabeth, and I cannot believe or deal with the fact that Gwyneth Paltrow, who I despise, won the Oscar over her for "Shakespeare in Love", which I also despise. Two actors from "Shakespeare in Love" also appear in this film. Joseph Fiennes stands there looking dumb, just as he did in "Shakespeare in Love", and Geofrrey Rush goes far beyond his material and is great in a very small role. A memorable performance comes from Vincent Cassel, as a flamboyant French duke. It is also nice to see the birth of some great future talents who appear in very minor roles, including Daniel Craig, Emily Mortimer, Kelly McDonald, and James Frain. Overall, the film is very well thought-out but not terribly interesting. I do think that "The Golden Age" will be great and much more fast-paced (plus the addition of Clive Owen, which is never a bad thing).


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