(In theaters, November 1998) This film plays loosely with the true (hi)story of England’s foremost queen, but manages to deliver a film that is interesting and well-made. Apt to disappoint historians of the Elizabethan era, Elizabeth contains a surprising amount of sex and violence –teenagers will be titillated. Otherwise, it’s the fabulous performances by Cate Blanchett in the title role that will capture the viewer’s interest. (Sultry French actress Fanny Ardant is also a lot of fun to see in an English movie.) It’s a shame that many moviegoers will miss Elizabeth, since it’s a better film than most of what’s been shown so far in 1998. It did reinforce my already considerably high opinion of the historical character. Worth hunting down in video.
(Second viewing, On TV, April 2001) Ever read a silent review? As an experiment, I watched this film with the sound off while working on something else. My conclusion? While I can’t comment on the dialogue, Elizabeth remains a film with great visuals and gorgeous cinematography, directed with great skill. Oh, and Cate Blanchett makes a gorgeous Queen Elizabeth. (Have I mentioned I once knew a girl who looked exactly like her. Swoon!) It almost made me want to watch the film again with the sound on.