1. It was the second movie in a trilogy. I wonder how many of the negative reviews were by people unfamiliar with trilogies. Frankly, it was better than The Two Towers.
  2. The first movie in the trilogy was Elizabeth. I think this is why the Red Curtain Trilogy was only called a trilogy later: Strictly Ballroom blew the other two out of the water. Some things shouldn’t be compared. Of course, in this case I think The Golden Age was easily better than Elizabeth.
  3. Clive Owen. He really did seem (and I quote) out of “another place, another time”. The wrong one. Clive Owen and period drama just don’t click for me. He’s too… forward from the scene. I wonder how Viggo Mortensen would have been? Or any Raleigh less wracked by emotion.
  4. Random Horses. This seems to be a failing of second installments. See the mention of Two Towers above.
  5. The End. See point 1. Will the Infanta come back to haunt us?

Summation: I liked it. It was vivid. I liked the pageantry and the feeling of falling through paintings. I liked the dignity, in spite of the emotional torment. I liked the themes (especially the rule of law), though I hope they are followed through in the next movie. I liked the pirates and the intrigues and the warrior queens and the silent, threatening children. I liked that it wasn’t caricatured evil versus idealised good, but caricatured and well-governed nebulousness on one side and many-shaded, hypocritical, conscience-ridden, cruel, superstitious, near-sighted main characters on the other. I liked the hair and the hallways and Mary Queen of Scots, and the talent for drama which Elizabeth and Mary both displayed. It was a flawed, fabulous, fantastic pageant,a dark tale of the Faery Queen, relentlessly human, almost a pantomime,  beginning to rot a little with decadence, still fresh with innocence and promise, always with something of the stage about it.

And although it didn’t make me walk out feeling ten foot tall,  I did come out of the theatre with excellent posture.