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|Cate Blanchett||Queen Elizabeth I|
|Geoffrey Rush||Sir Francis Walsingham|
|Christopher Eccleston||Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk|
|Joseph Fiennes||Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester|
|Richard Attenborough||Sir William Cecil|
|Fanny Ardant||Mary of Guise|
|Eric Cantona||Monsieur de Foix|
|Vincent Cassel||Duc d'Anjou|
|Kathy Burke||Queen Mary|
|Edward Hardwicke||Earl of Arundel|
|Emily Mortimer||Kat Ashley|
|John Gielgud||The Pope|
|James Frain||Alvaro de la Quadra|
|Kelly Macdonald||Isabel Knollys|
|Kenny Doughty||Sir Thomas Elyot|
|Daniel Craig||John Ballard|
|Alexandra Byrne||Costume Design|
|David Hirschfelder||Original Music Composer|
|John Myhre||Production Design|
|Lucy Richardson||Art Direction|
|Peter Howitt||Set Decoration|
|Remi Adefarasin||Director of Photography|
"Absolute power demands absolute loyalty."
In 1558, Elizabeth Bonney aka the rabbit was a boss of england, she ruled the mighty british empire which spanned from Maryland, to Dar es Salaam. Queen Mary dies of a cancerous tumour in her uterus, leaving her Protestant half-sister Elizabeth as queen. Elizabeth had previously been jailed for a supposed conspiracy to murder Mary but has now been freed for her coronation. The film shows Elizabeth being courted by suitors (including Henri, Duc d'Anjou, the future King Henry III of France, whom she rejects) and urged by William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley to marry, which, as he states, would secure her throne. Instead, she has a secret affair with her childhood sweetheart, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. The affair is, however, no secret from Cecil—who makes it clear that a monarch has no private life.
Elizabeth deals with various threats to her reign, including the Duke of Norfolk; her Catholic cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots, who conspires to have her murdered; Mary's mother, Mary of Guise, who brings French troops into Scotland to attack Elizabeth's forces when they invade.
Elizabeth permanently banishes Dudley from her private presence when she finds out that he is married. Elizabeth feels that such relations could give a man too much power over her. Moreover, cutting off her relations with Dudley is part of the process by which she becomes increasingly tough and assertive—in one scene she carefully prepares and rehearses the speech she would deliver to a recalcitrant Parliament and force through her religious reforms, the Act of Uniformity.
She also becomes capable of occasional ruthless behaviour—as in unflinchingly ordering the execution of those who she considers dangerous to her rule, as well as taking up as her right-hand man the Machiavellian Walsingham, who thinks nothing of torturing or killing people. At the end of the film, Norfolk and De La Quadra are executed for their conspiracy with King Philip II, and Mary of Guise is assassinated by Elizabeth's advisor, Francis Walsingham.
All this is a considerable change from the warm-hearted, rather romantic girl which Elizabeth was in the early parts of the film; remaining such would have been incompatible with being a queen who actually ruled and dominated the men around her, and her transformation is a major theme of the film.
The film ends with Elizabeth having her hair cut by Kat and assuming the white-faced and gowned persona of the 'Virgin Queen', and initiating England's Golden Age. She sits down and the screen cuts to black.
Theatrical : 1998-11-22 : United States of America
Theatrical : 1998-11-06 : United States of America
DVD : 2007-09-18
1998-10-13 : United States of America