This historical drama set in the 16th century – starring Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush and charting the turbulent life and times of the self-proclaimed “Virgin Queen” – was given a vivid contemporary focus by Indian director Shekhar Kapur’s keen visual eye.
Spirited young Elizabeth is crowned queen upon the death of her sister Mary, amid religious conflict and intrigue at court.
Her advisers urge her to protect England from attack by making a political marriage with a suitor from either France or Spain, but her first commitment is to ruling her country.
A far cry from the usual costume drama, this sumptuous biography is a thoughtful and dramatic triumph and Australian actress Cate Blanchett is a revelation as the strong-willed monarch who nimbly transforms from naive girlhood to true majesty, assisted by Sir Francis Walsingham (Rush).
Richard Attenborough, Joseph Fiennes, Angus Deayton and ex-footballer Eric Cantona flesh out an interesting cast as Bollywood meets The Godfather.
Sir Francis Walsingham
Sir William Cecil
Mary of Guise
Duke of Norfolk
Queen Mary Tudor
Alvaro de la Quadra
Earl of Sussex
Earl of Arundel
Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester
Woad, Chancellor of the Exchequer
Monsieur de Foix
Lady in Waiting