Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Director: Shekhar Kapur
Year Released: 2007
Rating: 1.5

History barely comes alive. This sequel to the 1998 film has Protestant Elizabeth (Cate Blanchett) waging war against the Catholic Spaniards and trying to sort out her feelings for Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen) and other suitors amidst talk of infertility among the commoners. The BBC and PBS do this sort of thing quite well and are generally more historically accurate - this is obnoxiously over-stylized by the excessive Kapur, who loves swirling cameras and shooting from odd angles (look, a horse is swimming above the camera!) and generally making things look gaudy from an aesthetic point of view - likewise the story relegates the Spaniards to "people who pray a lot" and "have lots of Jesus and Mary iconography laying around" (their story isn't important because they lost, right?). The naval battle at the end is just a lot of puffed-up CGI.