On the Big Board
|Cate imports her Katherine Hepburn performance from Aviator, and Clive thinks he's Captain Jack. Often unintentionally hilarious.
|Prettier but duller than its prequel. It just lacks emotional punch or intimacy.
Chances are, no one really expected the Academy Award nominated Elizabeth to wind up with a sequel. It was a period piece/costume drama that certainly received plenty of accolades, but not something that inspired viewers to say - wow! Where does the story go next? After all, that information is available in any number of biographies.
The Golden Age will have Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush reprising the roles they originated in Elizabeth - Queen Elizabeth I and her trusted adviser Sir Francis Walsingham. Clive Owen will also join the cast, playing Sir Walter Raleigh. Shekhar Kapur returns to direct.
Elizabeth I is contending with both betrayal from her family and bloodlust for her throne. She understands that religious and political opinions are rapidly changing in the world she inhabits. Spanish King Philip II brazenly challenges Elizabeth's rule as he sends in his mighty armada in an attempt to bring Catholicism back to prominence in England.
The queen prepares to go to war, but finds it difficult to balance her royal duties with her feelings for Raleigh. Because she has sworn herself to her country, a romance with him is simply not an option. With Raleigh forbidden to her, she encourages her favorite lady-in-waiting, Bess (Abbie Cornish), to pursue him as a suitor. The unfortunate consequence is that Elizabeth must watch Raleigh and Bess's developing relationship.
As all of this is taking place, Sir Walsingham continues to masterfully control Elizabeth's court at home, working to help her attain complete power. Thanks to information from a network of spies, he discovers an intricate assassination attempt planned on Elizabeth's life. This becomes even more troublesome when members of Elizabeth's family - including her cousin, Mary Stuart (Samantha Morton) are believed to be involved. With his desperate efforts to protect the throne, Walsingham may be setting England up for destruction.
Elizabeth was nominated for seven Academy Awards, taking home one Oscar (for Best Makeup). With The Golden Age is clearly being positioned as an awards contender as well. In 2006, The Queen proved that the American public remains very interested in the stories surrounding the British royal family, and the intrigue and machinations involved in The Golden Age seem destined to make it a reasonable hit. (Kim Hollis/BOP)