Elizabeth: The Golden Age
- 1 hr 55 min
Elizabeth: The Golden Age is a 2007 historical drama. Starring Kate Blanchett in the title role and directed by Shekhar Kapur, it chronicles the latter part of the reign of Elizabeth I, her brief and tumultuous romance with Walter Raleigh, her victory over the Spanish Armada, and the beheading of Mary, Queen of Scots. It is the mid-16th century, and several powerful monarchs sit upon the major thrones of Europe: Philip II of Spain, Mary (Queen of Scots) and Elizabeth I. King Philip is husband to the late Mary I of England (Elizabeth's elder sister via marriage between the same father, Henry VII, and Catherine of Aragon). Having seen his marriage proposal to Elizabeth rejected upon the death of Mary I, Phillip decides to invade England and place his daughter upon the throne. Underlining these political upheavals is an ongoing feud between Protestants and Catholics, as this is the height of the Reformation. Resisting pressure to marry and produce an heir (one that might safeguard the throne), Elizabeth meanwhile receives at court one Walter Raleigh. Recently returned from the New World, Raleigh brings exotic delicacies and spectacles: potatoes, Spanish gold, two Native Americans, and tobacco. Elizabeth is smitten with the tall, dashing Raleigh, as is Bess Throckmorton, her favorite lady-in-waiting. Elizabeth secretly charges Bess to spy on Raleigh. The two fall in love and conceive a child. Elizabeth succeeds in charging Mary, Queen of Scots, with treason, and orders her beheaded. Mary, clad in red (the token color of martyrs), approaches the scaffold with dignity. The beheading of a Catholic Queen is considered a profound, intolerable affront to the Church and the Pope, and Philip II uses this for leverage to gain papal permission for his war against England. The Pope concedes, and Philip launches his fleet. With Academy Award-winning costumes and a plot that is historically accurate, Elizabeth: The Golden Age brings the saga of the last Tudor monarch vividly to life.