May 1, 2006

Brutal Bess

While I've so far only managed to catch Part I of HBO's Elizabeth I, I came away from the first two hours with a new appreciation for our modern ban on "cruel and unusual punishment." From watching an outspoken critic of her highness have his hand chopped off to seeing the queen's would-be assassins disembowled in a particularly gruesome fashion, I ended up having to watch parts of the movie through my fingers. (Don't even get me started on Mary, Queen of Scots and her botched exucution....Not even Quentin Tarantino himself could have done a better job grossing me out.) Still, Hugh Dancy's pretty face was antidote enough for all the gore, and Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons kept me captivated, though I was surprised at how semi-psycho and petulant (In a Joan Crawford, "Mommie Dearest" way) Elizabeth appears at times in this telling. Quite a different version than the strong and stoic Liz Cate Blanchett gave us. Does anyone agree? -- Amy

1 comment:

  1. Sounds awful in spite of the great stars! I don't know if I want to see this version then. Bess was very cruel to the Catholics and Mary, of course, but I still somehow like to think of her as 'Good Queen Bess' who married England! This sounds like another example of revisionist history to me.