Elizabeth | Chicago Reader

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A politician in the making is nearly sidetracked by some cloak-and-dagger manipulations and the allure of an inappropriate lover, in this 1998 portrait inspired by the troubled succession of Queen Elizabeth I. Arty torture scenes and sexploitive digressions randomly emphasize the perspectives of secondary characters, and the precious jump cuts, screaming camera angles, and idiomatic dialogue are even more annoying. Whether the story's bald ironies are historical cliches or just dramatic ones, they convey only platitudes about gender, sexuality, and power. Written by Michael Hirst and directed by Shekhar Kapur; with Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Fiennes, and Richard Attenborough. 123 min.

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