Kapur is channelling his inner Coppola with this film.
Elizabeth was a very strong and engaging take on historical biopic. It was about a leader coming of age. The Golden Age is about her reigning, confident, vulnerable and strong. She’s Michael Corleone… and she’s taking names.
Flashier and more melodramatic than its predecessor, The Golden Age is a breathtaking spectacle which injects beauty and energy into history and churns out a great love story and adventure. It’s great potboiling entertainment. This is what we go to the cinema for. It may be a bit Cliff Notes but who cares. It delivers on thrills, passion and pageantry and it does so with flying colours.
The crown jewel of the piece is Blanchett herself. A big part of what made the first Elizabeth so strong was her performance. It was career defining and she returns to the part gloriously. Here she keeps the character from going over the top, not easy to do when you are playing one of the most legendary leaders of all time. She grounds the piece and makes the epic feel almost personal.
The rest of the cast is strong too, especially Clive Owen whose chemistry with the virgin queen is palpable. The two are irresistible to watch.
The Golden Age is the kind of film that has us on the edge of our seats, rooting for the good guys. To get a historical piece to do that is a great achievement. To do so without insulting the audience is even more impressive.
Here’s hoping that this becomes a trilogy. I am sure there are more tales of Elizabeth the first to tell.