Sunday, October 14, 2007

Never Enough Elizabeth I

My husband confessed to feeling a bit guilty as we entered the multiplex yesterday to see “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” starring Cate Blanchett. “Am I being unfaithful to Helen Mirren?” he asked. “After all, Elizabeth the First was born just so Mirren could play her,” Larry insisted, which shows how much he enjoyed the great HBO mini-series about Elizabeth. I think that may be the best compliment an actress has ever received, don’t you?

After reassuring my spouse about Mirren’s probable lack of jealousy in this instance, we viewed the gloriously photographed new film. “It’s too melodramatic, and Mirren makes a better Queen Elizabeth,” was Larry’s reaction. However, methinks he’s somewhat biased. Blanchett, who previously portrayed Elizabeth as a young woman, pours her heart and soul into this role. Yes, it is melodramatic and the actors in the TV mini-series came across more like real people, but the spectacular cinematography in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” makes up for all that.

Still, I’m a sucker for big costume dramas like this one as well as for anything about Elizabeth I, so my objectivity may not be too reliable here either. Does it matter to me who plays Elizabeth? Apparently not. Each actress I’ve seen in the role so far (Bette Davis, Glenda Jackson, Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Cate Blanchett) has impressed me. Bring on the next one, for there’s never enough Elizabeth I for me!

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