It's a costume drama set in the 16th century, but the title character (Blanchett) is a thoroughly modern woman, who metamorphoses from a submissive young girl to a ruthless monarch as she learns the wicked ways of the crown. Beginning in 1554 when religious schisms left England debilitated, the film observes the political wrangling surrounding the Virgin Queen's ascension to the British throne as she thwarts the advances of conspiratorial suitors and assassination attempts and creates an empire. Blanchett's fully realized, fiery Elizabeth makes this a wild ride, rather than a soporific biopic.
Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
More on Elizabeth from Infoplease: