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Queen Elizabeth I film angers Catholic Church

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Cate Blanchett’s new film - in which she plays Queen Elizabeth I for the second time - has come under a torrent of abuse from various corners of the Catholic Church, for what is described as ‘anti-papist propaganda’.

Professor Franco Cardini, a historian with close ties to the Vatican, said Elizabeth: The Golden Age sorely misrepresents Catholicism, adding ‘the offence is continuous and very dire’.

A common complaint is that all Catholics in the film are portrayed as twisted, embittered figures. Professor Cardini claims King Philip II of Spain is played as a ‘ferocious fanatic’.

The National Catholic Register goes as far as to say the film is more damaging to the Catholic Church than the controversial Da Vinci Code.

It added: ‘The climax, a weakly staged destruction of the Spanish Armada, is a crescendo of Church-bashing imagery: rosaries floating amid burning flotsam, inverted crucifixes sinking to the bottom of the ocean, the rows of ominous berobed clerics sinking away in defeat.’

The film, which also stars Abbie Cornish and Clive Owen, has been criticised for a number of historical inaccuracies in terms of its location and plot.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age is released in cinemas today (2/11).

Elizabeth: The Golden Age

  • 3 stars
  • 2007
  • UK/France
  • 114 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Shekhar Kapur
  • Written by: William Nicholson, Michael Hirst
  • Cast: Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Clive Owen, Rhys Ifans, Jordi Mollà, Abbie Cornish, Samantha Morton

An exploration of the forbidden love between Elizabeth I (Blanchett) and Sir Walter Raleigh (Owen) as she prepares to go to war to defend her empire, while trying to balance her royal duties with her affection for Raleigh. Much of the film's blood and thunder liveliness comes from the sheer relish Blanchett brings to her…

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