Few would disagree that Cate Blanchett is one of the finest actresses working today. Whenever she stars in a movie her name is usually mentioned during that year’s awards season. Her powerful role as Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1998’s Elizabeth
and 2007’s Elizabeth: The Golden Age
earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination for each film (she became the first actress to get a nomination for the reprisal of the same role). In the movies, which are loosely based on the early reign of the so-called Virgin Queen, we see Protestant Elizabeth rise to the throne after her Catholic sister dies. A conspiracy erupts to kill the new queen as we slowly watch a formerly warm-hearted, romantic woman turn to stone and coldly issue executions to those she considers dangerous as she is forced to be assertive over the men around her. When Elizabeth discovers her true love is already married, she vows to never have sex again since it would give a man too much control over her. Her actions usher in England’s golden age.
Universal is treating both Elizabeths to a regal high-definition makeover with their April 27 debut Blu-ray release. Elizabeth will contain feature commentary by director Shekhar Kapur, “The Making of Elizabeth,” and “Elizabeth Featurette.” Elizabeth: The Golden Age will also have commentary with Kapur, a making-of featurette, “Inside Elizabeth’s World,” “Commanding the Winds: Creating the Armada” and “Towers, Courts and Cathedrals.” Both films had been released on the now-defunct HD DVD format during the dark ages of the format war, but both movies are befitting of an upgrade for the royal Blu age.