• Publication date: May 1, 2011

Military Strategist, Ruler, and Woman Elizabeth: The Golden Age: Meet England's Most Prolific Queen

In 1585 England's Queen Elizabeth (Cate Blanchett) fears each and every Catholic under her rule. The virgin monarch's paranoia is justified though, especially since the Pope is determined to completely rid the kingdom of Protestantism. She has also earned the ire of Spain's King Philip II (Jordi Moll�), a past suitor who Elizabeth ultimately turned down.

In 1585 England's Queen Elizabeth (Cate Blanchett) fears each and every Catholic under her rule. The virgin monarch's paranoia is justified though, especially since the Pope is determined to completely rid the kingdom of Protestantism. She has also earned the ire of Spain's King Philip II (Jordi Moll�), a past suitor who Elizabeth ultimately turned down. Philip, a Catholic obedient to the Pope, hoped to marry the ruler, share her throne, and then eventually transform Britain into a Catholic nation.

When Philip's attempt to romantically usurp power failed he sought the Pope's permission to assassinate the Queen, and thus hasten the ascension of Elizabeth's Catholic cousin, Mary Queen of Scots (Samantha Morton) to power. The Pope agreed and Spain began assembling its Armada, a massive fleet of skillfully constructed ships solely dedicated to conquering England.

In parallel, Elizabeth attempts to manage personal strife. She is enchanted by Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen), an admirer who named a colony in her honor. Despite her infatuation with Raleigh she fails to communicate her feelings to him; subsequently the Queen's lady-in-waiting, Bess (Abbie Cornish) marries Raleigh in secret and bears his child. When Elizabeth discovers their relationship she is furious, and imprisons Sir Walter for seducing a ward of the Queen.

England is also in the midst of a financial crisis, one that prohibits it from expanding its military. To defeat King Philip's forces Elizabeth must rely upon brilliant strategy, not just brute force and firepower. The work of the Queen's intelligence secretary, Sir Francis Walsingham (Geoffrey Rush) will prove to be an invaluable asset in protecting the monarchy from a Spanish invasion.

Elizabeth: the Golden Age is a sequel to 1998's highly successful Elizabeth. While not as profitable as its predecessor, the picture managed to earn $74 million worldwide, exceeding its estimated budget of $50-60 million. Famed Indian composer A. R. Rahman scored the soundtrack, alongside Craig Armstrong of Moulin Rouge! notoriety. The picture was awarded an Oscar for its magnificent costume design, while Cate Blanchett was nominated for her phenomenal depiction of Queen Elizabeth.

Year: 2007

Duration: 114 minutes

Genre: Biography, Drama, History, Romance

Starring:

Cate Blanchett

Geoffrey Rush

Clive Owen

Samantha Morton

Rhys Ifans

Abbie Cornish

Jordi Molla

Director: Shekhar Kapur

Rating: PG-13