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Elizabeth

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Absolute power demands absolute loyalty.

England 1554. Under the rule of Queen Mary, 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 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 Elizabeth is crowned Queen of England. The country rejoices, as does Elizabeth, who particularly relishes the return from exile of her childhood sweetheart Robert Dudley (Joseph Fiennes). But chief advisor 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. She even has enemies within her own court...

Persons of interest

  • Cate Blanchett .... Elizabeth I
  • Geoffrey Rush .... Sir Francis Walsingham
  • Joseph Fiennes .... Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
  • Christopher Eccleston .... Duke of Norfolk
  • Richard Attenborough .... Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley
  • Rod Culbertson .... Master Ridley
  • Terence Rigby .... Bishop Gardiner
  • James Frain .... Alvaro de la Quadra
  • Amanda Ryan .... Lettice Howard
  • Jamie Foreman .... Earl of Sussex
  • Edward Hardwicke .... Earl of Arundel
  • Fanny Ardant .... Mary of Guise
  • Vincent Cassel .... Duc d'Anjou
  • George Yiasoumi .... King Philip II of Spain
  • Kathy Burke .... Queen Mary Tudor
  • Emily Mortimer .... Kat Ashley
  • Kelly Macdonald .... Isabel Knollys
  • Michael Hirst .... Screenwriter
  • Shekhar Kapur .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Girl power!

Although the ins and outs of Elizabeth's succession and reign are well familiar to me from my studies at university, seeing it all happen on the big screen was fun. There are plots and schemes and frocks for days - dramas and betrayals that are so much more astoundingly delicious for being true.

If you've never heard her story, then this is quite a good way to learn it. You might even consider using it as a teaching tool , if you're a teacher, because it conveys the majesty and the grime of the times magnificently.

The acting is not all it could be, but it's still absolutely acceptable. The script is well structured, maintaining the state of tension under which Elizabeth suffered and overcame.

This is nothing like those prissy BBC dramas that you think of when you hear about a film like Elizabeth, it's gritty, it's dirty, it's human. See it.

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Medium level sex scene)

Surveillance time

123 minutes (2:03 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 22 October 1998

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