Elizabeth - Special Edition DVD review
Universal DVD retail/rental
Given the recent, and rather belated, cinematic release of a sequel to Elizabeth: The Golden Age, a renewed interest in 1998’s original historical drama based on the life of Queen Elizabeth I was inevitable. It may not have started the public’s liking for all things period, and it may – as is the way with such projects – take some measure of dramatic license with historical fact, but there’s no denying that Elizabeth ushered in an era of sumptuous, elegantly shot and costumed historical epics for the cinema.
The film also broke the career of Cate Blanchett, who is excellent as the young Protestant Queen who assumes the monarchy from her Catholic half-sister Queen Mary (Kathy Burke). There’s passion, deception and bloodletting in abundance, while a cast of high-powered English stalwarts, including Richard Attenborough, Christopher Eccleston, John Gielgud (his final film role) and Geoffrey Rush further raises the standard. Surprisingly, however, this so called ‘special’ or ‘golden’ edition contains very few extras of note. (David Pollock)