11/11/07

Movies I Saw: Elizabeth the Golden Age Disappointed

Okay, it's not new at the multiplex but I just saw Elizabeth: The Golden Age with Cate Blanchett.

Now, except for a couple of times when Cate seems to be channelling her version of Katherine Hepburn in Aviator into this role, I thought she did an excellent job. The costuming was fabulous, the sets were remarkable, and the music was just fine. Clive Owen is a gorgeous man, and he looked good with a tan.

However, the movie was not accurate. This made it distracting, and ultimately, annoying to me. [A great lesson in using creative license. Be careful.]

The last straw was the Armada scene -- where was the big storm? Where was the lightning and the big waves and the WEATHER factor here? Sure, the fire ships were cool but that wasn't the whole story.

Did they really have to edit Queen Elizabeth's speech to her troops which has come to be recognized as one of the greatest speeches of all time?

Was it necessary to combine Sir Francis Drake with Sir Walter Raleigh here? Drake was the one responsible for the fire ships, not Raleigh. Raleigh was on land at Dover watching the whole thing. Then again, Raleigh is credited with discovering Mary Queen of Scot's plot to take Elizabeth's crown. And, he did marry Elizabeth the maid and get himself thrown into the Tower of London -- but that was after the victory with the Spanish. Of course, this isn't shown in the movie.

Likewise, Cate didn't look in her 50s, nor Clive in his 20s, which was their real age difference. Oh, I feel a serious rant coming on....

Geez. Grrrrrr. It was hard not to leave the theatre with all this unnecessary alteration in a very exciting chapter of history. Why not have two handsome men at court -- Drake and Raleigh? Why not use special effects for the storms that came?

Such, such, such a disappointment. I mean, they had pirates and palaces and one queen plotting to take the throne of another, and Catholic vs Protestant .... And they messed with it.

I wish I had skipped this film. Next time, I'll listen to Rotten Tomatoes.

Image: Elizabeth I ordered a commemorative medal to be cast and distributed, reading "God Blew and They Were Scattered," in tribute to the storms that destroyed the Spanish Armada. I am just shaking my head.
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