This movie approaches the brink of becoming another corny, hokey Hollywood travesty but recovers to become an incredibly powerful and unique portrayal of Elizabeth I and her closest advisers and the political situation in Western Europe in the late 16th century. Cate Blanchett offers a masterful, powerful and provocative portrayal of the Virgin Queen which unlike most Hollywood portrayals of historical personages does not devolve into a laughable caricature. Elizabeth has feelings too and cares about ALL of her people, not just those who are of her religious persuasion. Also, the movie offers a credible portrayal of Elizabeth's relationship with her cousin Mary as well as a credible and comprehensible explanation of King Philip's decision to go to war against England. Whether Spain in 1585 was the most powerful country in the world as the movie purports is a matter for debate but the fact that there was a time in history when Spain actually wanted to invade England is amazing and is a story in itself. This movie is worth watching.