Declared illegitimate aged 3. Tried for treason aged 21. Crowned Queen aged 25.
Elizabeth is a 1998 British biographical drama film written by Michael Hirst, directed by Shekhar Kapur, and starring Cate Blanchett in the title role of Queen Elizabeth I of England, alongside Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Fiennes, John Gielgud, Fanny Ardant, and Richard Attenborough. The film is based on the early years of Elizabeth’s reign, where she is elevated to the throne after the death of her half-sister Mary I, who had imprisoned her. As her early years continue, she faces plots and threats to take her down.
The film was praised for its production values and the performances of the cast. Blanchett’s performance brought her to international recognition, and she won several awards for her portrayal of Elizabeth, including a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. The film won the BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Film and received seven nominations at the 71st Academy Awards, including for Best Picture and Best Actress for Blanchett, winning Best Makeup. In 2007, Blanchett and Rush reprised their roles in Kapur’s follow-up film Elizabeth: The Golden Age, which covers the later part of Elizabeth’s reign.
- Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth I
- Geoffrey Rush as Francis Walsingham
- Joseph Fiennes as Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester
- Richard Attenborough as William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley
- Christopher Eccleston as Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk
- Kathy Burke as Queen Mary I
- Fanny Ardant as Mary of Guise
- Vincent Cassel as Henry, Duke of Anjou
- Eric Cantona as Paul de Foix
- Emily Mortimer as Kat Ashley
- Kelly Macdonald as Isabel Knollys
- John Gielgud as Pope Pius V
- Daniel Craig as John Ballard
- James Frain as Álvaro de la Quadra
- Edward Hardwicke as Henry FitzAlan, 19th Earl of Arundel
- Jamie Foreman as Earl of Sussex
- Terence Rigby as Bishop Stephen Gardiner
- Angus Deayton as Armagil Waad, Chancellor of the Exchequer