All the white-faced glory and implausible love story of “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” gets repackaged as DVD here. The small-screen version does little to make the budding romantic relationship between the queen (Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett) and Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen) any more believable, or his saving at sea of jolly old England from the sinister Spaniards, who comically stalk about on land in triangular phalanxes.
But, as a continuation of 1998’s “Elizabeth,” this take taps into the monarch’s struggle between human desires and her decision not to allow herself to love or marry. Epic themes of tolerance versus religious fanaticism play out here, accompanied by a fittingly dramatic sound track and even more impressive cinematography, with many sequences filmed on scene in English cathedrals.
All this, but “The Golden Age” still seems lacking; the dialogue and more explicit character development missing from the movie show up in the extras instead, as the producer, actors and designer congratulate each other.
Most interesting is an overlong exploration of creating the Spanish armada via one life-size ship. But, don’t expect any deeper digging into the real history here, much less mention of how Queen Elizabeth’s skin decayed under all that white (lead-based) face paint. Come on, guys “¦