Once again starring Cate Blanchett in the title role, Elizabeth: The Golden Age sees events pick up with her very well established on the throne. Its a new set of problems and issues that present themselves, with the impending threat of the Spanish Armada, and the scheming Mary, Queen Of Scots (brilliantly played by the always-terrific Samantha Morton) foremost in her mind.
That is, of course, apart from Sir Walter Raleigh, played by Clive Owen. Elizabeth: The Golden Age adds a potential romance for the virgin Queen, one that she struggles to come to terms with. And in the capable hands of returning director Shekhar Kapur, these many threads are woven together skillfully and a willingness to break the conventions of the period drama.
The star attraction remains Blanchett again, of course, whose performance is just as striking and textured as it was nearly a decade before. Elizabeth: The Golden Age may have an impressive cast, but all of them must have known they were on a hiding to nothing going up against the majesty (in more than one sense) of Blanchett. Because while the film itself does have a problems, its still better than you may have been led to believe, and boasts a tour-de-force central performance that you simply wont see matched very often at all. --Jon Foster