I was going to save this until next week, since... who will care about anything other than Oscars today? But I also want to put all things 2007 behind me so here you go... Ever since Oscar nomination time I've been trying to ignore the silliest of the main honors, Cate Blanchett's 'this one goes to 11' star turn in Elizabeth the Golden Age. For the most part while the film was ravaged, her work was praised (my review). But it's not as if she doesn't share that film's impulses for excessive grandeur and bold strokes... she's just infinitely better at selling and controlling them. So while the film is stinking up living rooms across the country on DVD and Cate will undoubtedly be thrilling on the red carpet tonight, let's revisit the original.
The poster to The Golden Age used the tagline "Woman. Warrior. Queen." I had forgotten that the original film also preferred a grocery list of nouns as descriptors. The DVD menu opts for "Heretic. Traitor. Queen. Assassin. Lover. Outcast. Prisoner... ELIZABETH" [cue huge orchestral score]
Setting aside the informal and abundant "milady" and "madame" here's where the first eight descriptors take us. "Sister", "Heretic", "Bastard" are bandied about first as the Queens advisers try to convince her that her Elizabeth is a threat to the throne. Her arrest starts with the royal address "Princess" and ends with the common "Prisoner" [tough demotion, that] Once she realizes the gravity of her situation, Elizabeth tries more florid self-titling "True and Faithful Subject" and "Your Majesty's Most Humble Servant". This last identity she assumes for the Queen herself. The royal's response? The eighth adjectival noun...
Hee. That about sums it up. She's really quite terrific in that movie.
"I see you're still a consummate actress"