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ELIZABETH

 
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At Theaters: 11/6/1998 On Video: 4/27/1999
Rated: R Length: 2 hr. 4 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 119807
Studio: Gramercy Pictures
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Storyline Heading

ELIZABETH depicts the early life of a woman of independent spirit who ascended to the throne in 1558 to a reign of intrigue and betrayal. The conflict of her private passions and personal friendships with her duty, as monarch, to achieve national unity, form the basis of a story that is both heartbreaking and inspiring.

DETAILED STORYLINE
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Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Thriller - This fast-paced, contemporary-feeling historical drama will have appeal beyond the generally older costume drama audience; younger adults will enjoy. That said, children will still be bored.
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Cast and Crew Heading
Cate Blanchett (Lucinda)
Geoffrey Rush (Les Miserables)
Christopher Eccleston (A Price Above Rubies)
Joseph Fiennes (Stealing Beauty)
Director: Shekhar Kapur (Bandit Queen)
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Production Notes Heading
Intro
About The Production
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: None
SEX/NUDITY: Some sex with brief nudity.
VIOLENCE: Stabbings, burnings at the stake.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Some alcohol consumption.
ACTION: None
COMEDY: None
DETAILED CONTENT
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Pictures © Gramercy Pictures ®
All Rights Reserved.

Critic's Review Heading
Very Good
Anyone expecting a typically stately, in manner and in pace, British historical drama will be jolted by Shekhar Kapur's stylish and fast-paced "historical thriller," in which Queen Elizabeth I's rise to the throne and resulting loss of innocence plays not unlike that of--yes--Michael Corleone's in The Godfather. Even if I did not particularly learn anything from Michael Hirst's script, I was completely engrossed by Elizabeth, which not only makes the traditionally stuffy and aloof British costume drama accessible, but entertaining and exciting as well.
DETAILED CRITIC'S REVIEW
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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 196 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
How
Many
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
*
Would
Recommend
Movie To Friends
13-19Teens (M/F)
9
High
89%
20-29Yg Adults (M)
17
High
100%
20-29Yg Adults (F)
26
High
96%
30+Adults (M)
55
High
95%
30+Adults (F)
89
High
89%
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

Be sure to read the DETAILED OPINIONS
The positive and negative comments made by moviegoers are very
helpful when selecting a movie that's appropriate for you and your family.

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OPINION GRAPH


D ETAILED S TORYLINE
ENGLAND, 1554. Under the rule of Queen Mary I, a zealous Catholic, England has been reduced to a country racked by financial and religious instability...

Now close to death, Mary (KATHY BURKE) steps up her policy of Protestant repression. The country buzzes with conspiracy and terror. Even Princess Elizabeth (CATE BLANCHETT), her younger (half-)sister and heir apparent, is in grave danger, but Mary's last-ditch attempt to execute her for treason fails.

Within days, Mary is dead and, in November 1558, Elizabeth is proclaimed Queen of England. The country rejoices, as does Elizabeth, who particularly relishes the return, from exile, of her childhood sweetheart Lord Robert Dudley (JOSEPH FIENNES). But chief adviser Sir William Cecil (RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH) urges the young Queen to forget personal matters and address the country's pressing problems. England is bankrupt, has no army, and is under serious threat from abroad. Elizabeth even has enemies within her own court, the most dangerous being The Duke of Norfolk (CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON). Cecil says she must marry - either the French Duc d'Anjou (VINCENT CASSEL) or her dead sister's husband, King Philip II of Spain - to secure the realm. Elizabeth agrees to meet their ambassadors, but her true feelings are revealed when she meets Dudley for a secret tryst.

The first crisis breaks when the French "warrior queen" Mary of Guise (FANNY ARDANT) amasses troops on the Scottish border. The issue causes fierce arguments in Court. Elizabeth bows to the pro-War lobby led by Norfolk, despite protestations from her Master of Spies, Sir Francis Walsingham (GEOFFREY RUSH) -- a darkly enigmatic figure who is disliked at Court. But when the decision to fight leads to a humiliating rout, Elizabeth realizes that she has to exert her authority more forcefully if she is to survive.

A game of high political risk follows. Ignoring Cecil, Elizabeth boldly rejects France and Spain's marriage proposals, a move which almost costs Elizabeth her life. One night, asElizabeth and Dudley enjoy a summer's evening on the Thames, an arrow narrowly misses her head. Her personal guard is killed. Elizabeth emerges shaken but unhurt.

She turns to Dudley for comfort, but at this pivotal moment in their relationship, she receives shocking news: he is secretly married. Her faith in him evaporates. Feeling humiliated and betrayed, she turns her back on him forever. Dudley defends himself, but the seeds of doubt are well and truly sown. With no one else to turn to, Elizabeth, more than ever, puts her trust in Walsingham.

Meanwhile, the French threat looms greater. Furious that Elizabeth has rejected marriage to her nephew Anjou, Mary of Guise vows revenge. When a French silk dress laced with poison kills her lady-in-waiting, Elizabeth strikes back, sending Walsingham to Scotland. He lures Mary to bed and murders her.

As conspiracies within her council abound, Walsingham tells Elizabeth to hit back: the day of reckoning has finally come. Drawing her threads in carefully, and putting her trust only in Walsingham, she retaliates in a counter-coup of immense ferocity, wiping out all opposition to her leadership. Her throne is finally secure.

When Elizabeth next appears in public, she has transformed herself into the legendary Virgin Queen. Formidable. Untouchable. Unbeatable...

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