Just in case you were all pumped about Elizabeth: The Golden Age, I'm going to forewarn you that it's pretty flimsy. The movie takes on too much, and the audience is left with too little. We saw a free preview last night and while I totally appreciate a free movie, I was first confused by the vignette-y plot, then moderately enchanted by the astounding costumes and wigs, then irritated by the relentless epic musical cues, then hilarified by all of the artistically framed shots of Cate Blanchett with streaming wigs or flapping garments in some stunning scenic backdrop. Mary Queen of Scots is in the movie for about 2 minutes total, which is a waste of Samantha Morton; the dialogue is ludic overall, especially the fervent lunatic monologues of Philip of Spain; and the Spanish Armada battle scene is pretty much a montage, complete with heavy-handed underwater shots.
When we left the theater I actually ranted about the movie for awhile, albeit mostly in a comic manner. Maybe I would have liked the movie more if I had not recently watched the Schama, because the Schama makes characters come alive while also being historically informative. I know, a BBC history docudrama isn't the same as epic historical fiction from Universal, but I'm thinking that anyone with any knowledge of this era or these people will come away from the movie with a kind of cotton-candy feeling.
Since I already knew that Cate Blanchett has a thrilling voice, the main thing I gleaned from the movie is that I would like to have a giant world map painted on my floor. It would be very educational, lovely, and also handy when plotting world domination or vacations.