Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Year: 2007
Production Co: Working Title
Studio: Universal
Director: Shepkar Kapur
Producer: Tim Bevan
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Clive Owen, Abbie Cornish, Geoffrey Rush, Samantha Morton, Rhys Ifans
Elizabeth: The Golden Age tricks you into thinking it's a lot more worthy of serious consideration than it is thanks to grandiose dialogue, sumptuous design and a powerful cast. When you look under gilded surface there's so many winsome damsels, flirty looks and cheeky puns it's somewhere between Sex and the City and a Carry On film.

Elizabeth Blanchett, looking as regal as ever, is now firmly entrenched on the thrown, having deposed most of her enemies through imprisonment or murder, such as Mary Queen of Scots Morton.

But a new threat is coming over the horizon in the form of the Catholic Spanish armada hell bent on throwing the filthy Protestants from power.

She slowly falls in love with adventurer Walter Raleigh (Owen) at the same time her innocent handmaiden (Cornish) does, and she finds herself in a whirlwind of concern for everything from the imminent collapse of her nation to ageing.

Playing fast and loose with the facts, the drama and intrigue of the film is exciting if a little confusing, but the final battle of the armada in the English Channel will be disappointing if you're expecting a Lord of the Rings style epic CG battle.

If you're after an LOTR fixture however, there's the obligatory and by-now cringeworthy ride along the ranks of troops with rousing speech pledging to ride into battle with them and savour victory.

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