Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney
rozk

  • Music:

A guilty pleasure, I suppose

I suppose that it is an unpopular fannish opinion that the first Elizabeth film is only good for some slightly special, though obvious, meanings of good. I feel a little off saying this, because, let us be clear, I love the damn film anyway and will go and see The Golden Age in full and certain knowledge that my experience will combine massive fannish squee with a lot of tuttutting about a million and one things.

Elizabeth is tosh, but it is such splendid tosh - and looks fabulous even though much of it was shot on a shoestring. Its history is shaky - and I speak as someone who goes to the opera, an artform where history is regularly butchered for our entertainment - and yet its feel of the urgency of the issues is wonderful. By starting with heretics being shaved and then burned, and ending with Elizabeth cutting her hair short in order to become the icon Gloriana instead of the young girl she started off as, a girl with a lot in common with the dead heretics, hemmed in by her enemies as they were, it does achieve an impressive unity.

And the two occasions where she dances the volta with Dudley are pure and unadulterated sex with clothes on - tonight we turned on the television just before the first of those, then jumped channels to watch it from the beginning so that I got to see it twice.

The casting looks more like luxury casting now than it did then - Ecclestone and Craig weren't Who and Bond then, after all, and had just been in Our Friends in the North. Blanchett wasn't a star until after we'd seen the movie. Some of the casting is eccentric - Kathy Burke is wonderful as Bloody Mary, but that was taking a chance, and Cantona is surprisingly good as the French Ambassador simply because he has menacing presence. And there was some luxury in there - Gielgud as the Pope and Fanny Ardent as Marie de Guise.

But, oh dear god, the bits of outrageous historical treating - Walsingham personally assassinating Marie, for example, and the ousting of the Catholic traitors done as a Godfather style Night of the Long Knives. And the totally anachronistic music - Mozart and Elgar for heavens sake, powerful as those scenes are.

Oh all right, I do love it really, quite a lot. In a guilty pleasure way.

*****

On a linked matter, I am intrigued by Ryan Murphy's casting of Joseph Fiennes as someone in transition in 4 oz.. I am longing to see the preview, which apparently has abillings in it, presumably as some sort of mentor figure. With Candis Cayne currently in Dirty Sexy Money, that means two high-profile transwomen playing transwomen in major shows. Not bad for visibility...
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