I understand what really happened during this time period but for someone who is not aware it is hard to follow. Overall though it was good but not too special except for Cate Blanchett. After her, the costumes and art direction it wasn't too great.
The acting of this movie overall was OK. Cate Blanchett was phenomenal showing her vulnerability and the complexities in her character having to deal with so many problems and yet having to stay in control. She fit her part perfectly as she did in the first movie. Like the first she really actually gave you the feeling of what a queen from back then might have been like. I like Clive Owen but I hated hated him in this movie. His style was too cliché and what really brought him down was not really realizing the point of his character. I understand Blanchett is supposed to be in love with him but he really just feels like he could have been cut from the entire movie and it wouldn't of made the slightest difference. I would have liked to have seen Geoffrey Rush much more in this movie but unfortunately his role was very limited.
The art direction and costume design was great. You could see some great photography and landscapes with great setup with the clothing. It was sort of able to fill the void with some of the mistakes made in this movie but it just was not enough.
Overall though the directing and editing was poor. The directing failed miserably at giving you an idea of what is happening. Even if you do get it, the movie fails at really showing how this event makes Elizabeth important great and why it is important. This has to do with the editing a lot as well.
I would recommend this movie strictly for Blanchett's performance. This is not really a movie too understand history through though.
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