Elizabeth

on November 06, 1998 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
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This costume drama about Queen Elizabeth I, the first Iron Lady before Thatcher, look great but lacks focus and depth. Set in England in 1554, the film begins in the waning days of the reign of the dying Mary I ("Nil By Mouth's" Kathy Burke), a Catholic who rules the country at a time of religious tensions. The most likely successor is Mary's Protestant half sister, Elizabeth (Cate Blanchett), but others, such as the evil Duke of Norfolk (Christopher Eccleston), intend to prevent that from happening.
   Royal intrigue is inherently dramatic but "Elizabeth" is pretty sedate stuff, despite multiple murders and sexual shenanigans. Blanchett ("Oscar and Lucinda"), though, whose Elizabeth is the only fully-realized character in the film, is wonderful as a young woman who must shed her lover (Joseph Fiennes) and her naivete in a bid to hold on to her throne. Her transition from maiden to monarch is fascinating. Blanchett is the shining jewel in an otherwise dull and tarnished crown. Starring Cate Blanchett, Christopher Eccleston and Geoffrey Rush. Directed by Shekhar Kapur. Written by Michael Hirst. Produced by Alison Owen, Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan. A Gramercy release. Drama. Not yet rated. Running time: 124 min
Tags: Starring Cate Blanchett, Christopher Eccleston and Geoffrey Rush. Directed by Shekhar Kapur. Written by Michael Hirst, Produced by Alison Owen, Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan, Gramercy, Drama
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