Opened: October 23, 1998
Directed by: Shekhar Kapur
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Joseph Fiennes, Richard Attenborough, Christopher Eccleston, Kathy Burke, Fanny Ardant, Vincent Cassel, Eric Cantona, Emily Mortimer, Kelly Macdonald, John Gielgud, Daniel Craig & James Frain
Elizabeth shows the gender inequality that surrounded Queen Elizabeth I’s initial rise to power. These issues to a lesser degree are still abound today.
When her half-sister Queen Mary I (Kathy Burke) dies without an heir, Elizabeth (Cate Blanchett) becomes Queen of England. While many plot her downfall with the Pope (John Gielgud) even condemning her, her counselors urge her to get married to protect the kingdom.
Blanchett gives a powerful performance in this period piece. Lavished in beautiful costumes and surrounded by medieval sets, she balances romance and Elizabeth’s reign well. Elizabeth’s romance with Robert Dudley (Joseph Fiennes) is full of strained chemistry.
The belief in a woman not being able to lead is something that has passed overseas but still runs rampant in America whether she’s married or not.
Final say: A powerful leader. ★★★★☆