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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - Edition No 916 
Reckoning

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ELIZABETH: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
In 1554, after Queen Maryís (Kathy Burke) death, Princess Elizabeth (Cate Blanchett) is crowned Queen of England. The country is racked by financial and religious instability and her advisor Sir William Cecil (Richard Attenborough) says she must marry with political astuteness in order to secure her position. She is urged to marry either the French Duke of Anjou (Vincent Cassel) or her dead sisterís husband King Philip of Spain, although her heart lies with her childhood sweetheart, Robert Dudley (Joseph Fiennes). Elizabeth puts her faith in her confidante, Sir Francis Walsingham (Geoffrey Rush), in her quest to overcome conspiracy and assassination attempts. But in the process, her heart pays a high price for her loyalty to her country and crown.

"The very first thing I noticed about Elizabeth on DVD is the excellent, quality packaging. This marvellous film is packaged in a solid casing that doesn't look as though it will crack at the first opportunity. The enclosed colour brochure details the features (in German and Dutch as well as English), in addition to providing storyline and actors biographies. It even gives you pointers how to select one of the 21 scenes. There are interviews with the cast and crew and we go behind the scenes to get an insight into the making of this remarkable film with rich production design, seductive direction and extraordinary performances. The solid packaging however, is only the exterior indication of what a piece of solid gold this is. Director Shekar Kapur talks about his vision, while the producers discuss the project. Cate Blanchett notes that while there is much documented about Elizabeth I in her older years, there has been little to shed light on her early, vulnerable years and why she became the Virgin Queen. Elizabeth, with its marvellous soundtrack that soars in digital format, is a great addition to your DVD library."
Louise Keller

"It's glorious, of course, on the faithful DVD format, and Elizabeth benefits from the intimacy that DVD offers the viewer in the home. We're closer to the screen - and even though the screen is smaller, the images are full of punch. Pity, then, that the format is not widescreen; a surprising decision to avoid it, given the visual splendour of the film. The other nuisance is the absence of running time on the various extra features. I know this is not unusual, but that's no excuse. Just as feature film running time is a useful consumer service, so is running time for the additional features. The features themselves are nothing extraordinary, although interesting enough: we learn from one of the producers, Alison Owen, that director Shakar Kapur likes to create his own chaos and that's what brings out the best in him - although it can be a bit trying on the rest of the crew. The feature called Interviews and The Making Of Elizabeth are basically two parts of the same Making Of featurette, and there are other grabs with Geoffrey Rush and another producer, Tim Bevan, as well as Joseph Fiennes and Christopher Eccleston. But in this case, the value of the DVD is all in the film."
Andrew L. Urban



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ELIZABETH (M)
(UK)

CAST: Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Joseph Fiennes, Richard Attenborough, Christopher Eccleston,

DIRECTOR: Shekhar Kapur

AUSTRALIAN DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Universal

AUSTRALIAN DVD RELEASE: December 1, 1999

RRP: $34.95

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We gratefully acknowledge the complimentary use of a DVD player from Philips.

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