Elizabeth: The Golden Age (Movie Review)

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Elizabeth: The Golden Age (Universal) is a great hulking slab of English cheese, Stilton perhaps, or Wensleydale. It's one part historical melodrama, two parts bodice-ripper (and that's no metaphor; at one point, Clive Owen's manly mitts literally tug at a lady-in-waiting's heaving corset). If you go in fully prepared for the cinematic equivalent of a grocery-store novel, this unnecessary sequel to Elizabeth (1998) has its pleasures: There's Cate Blanchett's ever-mobile and fascinating face, Owen's swarthy brooding, and some eye-poppingly lavish dresses and wigs. (The popularity of royal costume drama has given rise to a subgenre: textile porn.)

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