Christy and I went to see it today as we start our anniversary weekend.
Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen is one of my all time favorite movies. This is technically part 2, though seeing the first is not a necessity for seeing the second.
The movie starts off tying a whole lot together with a lot of artistic license on history. There’s the jump from the Court of Spain to the Court of St. James to Mary Stuart’s prison back to Spain back to Elizabeth, etc.
The jumping slows as the plot thickens and once Mary’s lost her head, the whole thing starts moving with a rapid pulse. Much more so than the first part, in this one you really get a sense of what a pitiful creature Elizabeth is while at the same time being dazzled by her.
The final part of the movie, with her standing on the cliffs staring out to the orange glow at sea as the armada is crushed is very well done, if historically inaccurate.
The costumes and sets are breath taking. Cate Blanckett and Geoffrey Rush are fantastic. Jordi Molia is positively creepy as Philip II — at any moment you expect him to start killing priests just to watch the blood pour out.
And Samantha Morton as Mary Stuart, is quite well done once she knows she’s going to die. Before then, she’s a bit annoying.
This is well worth seeing and you don’t have to see the first movie to get what’s going on — though there is a moment of flashback to the first movie.
Oh, and the soundtrack is really a great piece of work.