Oscar Ritual 2008 : ELIZABETH – THE GOLDEN AGE
Nominated for Best Actress (Cate Blanchett) and Costume Design
I knew very little about Elizabeth: The Golden Age beyond the fact that it is a sequel to 1998’s Elizabeth and features the same principal actors in their roles. While I did see the first film, I cannot say I truly enjoyed it, but rather was fascinated by the historical elements and captivated by Cate Blanchett’s performance as the famed Queen of England. Beyond that, I really had little interest at all. Somehow the sequel changed all of that, and I found myself completely engaged throughout the entire film.
The more I watch Blanchett’s performances, the more I believe her to be the greatest actor of the current generation. Much like Katharine Hepburn and Meryl Streep before her, Blanchett absorbs her characters, playing them boldly and effortlessly, making me forget that I’m watching her work at all. In Elizabeth, especially this sequel, Blanchett owns the film. She embodies the Virgin Queen. And the addition of Clive Owen as Walter Raleigh simply made the film for me. Blanchett and Owen have perfect chemistry and such large personas that every shared scene is a genuine treasure. I didn’t even question the events of the film and am not sure I want to know the true history behind their relationship so as not to taint my experience with this movie.
I have no doubt that Blanchett deserves an Oscar for this performance, but she also deserves a second one this year for her work as a version of Bob Dylan in I’m Not There. Should the Academy choose to honor her with both awards in one year, I believe it would be well-deserved. Regardless, Elizabeth: The Golden Age is a film that also deserves much more accolade than has been given.
image from Rotten Tomatoes