Cinema: Elizabeth

Directed by Shekhar Kapur

Conspiracy buffs will love the nearly incomprehensible swirl of plot and counterplot attending the great British Queen's rise to power. Feminists will delight in seeing a romantic, frightened young woman take charge of her own (and her nation's) destiny. Historians will happily debate the sexy melodramatics with which the Protestant-Catholic conflict over the throne is stated. In short, this darkly sumptuous, hypnotically complex movie ought to have many constituencies, even in the age of Ally McBeal. The largest of them may turn out to be moviegoers hungry for rich, old-fashioned historical spectacle and eager to revel in the subtle grace with...

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