Director: Shekhar Kapur
Year Released: 1999
Shekhar Kapur's rendition of the famous British "Virgin Queen," Elizabeth I, is chock full of outstanding visuals and boasts a stellar cast (including Richard Attenborough, John Gielgud and Christopher Eccleston) but it's emotionally detached cinema: all camera movements and facial expressions and complicated sets. The plot itself is never really fleshed out, leaving the viewer confused about who some of the people in the film are. And, to quote USA Today critic Mike Clark, there's a "lack of humor" in the film that's so desperately needed. The film's only attempt at humor comes from Vincent Cassel as a French Duke, who whispers smut in Elizabeth's ear and dresses up like her, complete with makeup and girdle. Unfortunately, he's not funny (in fact, his cross-dressing scene is completely unnecessary). Geoffrey Rush and Cate Blanchett steal the show, with Rush doing an effective job as Blanchett's right-hand man. Besides that, though, it's a disappointment.