Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Reel People: Cate Blanchett is Queen Elizabeth I (again)

The movie is The Golden Age where Cate Blanchett will reprise her academy nominated role as Queen Elizabeth I in 1998's film Elizabeth. This follow up film is again directed by Shehkar Kapur, and screenwriter Michael Hirst.

Elizabeth was born in 1533, daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn (his second wife). Elizabeth's mother was accused of treason, and witchcraft and killed when Elizabeth was only three. In 1547, Elizabeth's half brother Edward VI (son of Henry VIII & Jane Seymoure) took the throne of England. Protestant Edward VI named in his will Lady Jane Grey as his successor, trying to keep his roman catholic half-sister Mary (as well as Elizabeth) from the throne. Queen Jane ruled 9 days, and then soon behind swept in Mary I (frequently called Mary Tudor or Bloody Mary). Queen Mary I of England reigned 1553-1558, when she died at the age of 42. This was then 1558, the year Elizabeth laid claim to the royal throne (Over Mary Queen of Scots, daughter of James V in the line of Henry VII. Mary Queen of Scots at this point was 16, she formally began ruling Scotland at the age of 9 months old).

Elizabeth I was the last monarchy of the Tudor dynasty. She never married or had children, and was often referred to as the virgin queen. She ruled almost 45 years, in a time period which became known as the Elizabethan age, in a time period in which England gained greater influence in world wide affairs. The crowning of Elizabeth I was complicated because there was no archbishop of Canterbury, and because she was protestant many bishops did not want to crown the queen feeling she was an illegitimate monarch.

During the early days of Elizabeth I's reign there was significant conflict between her and Mary Queen of Scots. By this point Mary was the wife of French King Francis II, claimed she was the real queen of England and exerted French authority over England. Once the French wars of Religion began between the Huguenots and the Catholics, Elizabeth gave support to the Huguenots over the French Catholics.

During Elizabeth I's reign England was very active militarily and politically as they established their role in Europe further. There were also tremendous art endeavors which expanded England's role in the world culturally, especially with Shakespearean theater. In 1603 Elizabeth I's reign ended upon her death when she feel into a deep melancholy and depression for days, eventually died in her sleep. James I king of Scotland succeeded Elizabeth upon her death.

The upcoming film does not of course tell the entire story of Elizabeth's life, but is said to focus on the relationship Elizabeth I (Blanchett) has with Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Ownens). Geoffery Rush will reprise his role as Sir Francis Walsingham, and Samantha Morton will play the role of Mary Queen of Scots.

Will this biographical film earn Blanchett some critical awards again for her second portrayal of this Real (Reel) Person?

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Sheila West said...

Did you make a typo????

"Queen Mary I of England reigned 1553-1558, when she died at the age of 42. This was the time when Elizabeth laid claim to the royal throne in 1958 (Over Mary Queen of Scots, daughter of James V in the line of Henry VII. Mary Queen of Scots at this point was 16, she formally began ruling Scotland at the age of 9 months old)."

What's this about the year 1958? Did you mean 1558?

Feel free to delete my comment after you've answered/adressed it.

Anonymous said...

I've really enjoyed reading your Reel People series. Great work!

RC said...

sheila, i did make a typo.

Thanks for pointing it out...the typo has been corrected.

sometimes I wonder if some 4th grader's going to google one of these people and steal the info for a short little report.

"oops...that's -5 point billy Queen Elizabeth I lived in the 16th century, not the 20th"

jasdye said...

yeah, wrong Queen Elizabeth.

do you plan on doing this series until Hollywood runs out of biopics (which, at the sound of it, i really wish they do soon. overload.)

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