Friday, October 12, 2007

Carina Chocano and Her Bad Self

One example of why I love the Los Angeles Times's film critic (and thus never needed to mourn Manohla Dargis's defection to the NYT so much):

Whatever semblance of restraint Kapur showed in the first movie is flung over an Irish bluff here after Elizabeth slowly evolves into some kind of 16th-century Michael Corleone. The transformation occurs soon after she reluctantly orders her cousin Mary's execution on Walsingham's insistence, and gives way to some of the silliest, soapiest bombast to hit the screen since "The Phantom of the Opera."

"Elizabeth: The Golden Age" gives new meaning to "costume drama" in that it is a drama primarily about costumes. But the drama is about as subtle as a sledgehammer to the temple.

Kapur is so invested in transforming his heroine into a comic book heroine that he reduces her antagonists to caricatures. Mary Tudor is a hysterical, dim-witted turkey; Mary Stuart a twitchy snake; Philip a sweaty creep; his emissaries and soldiers talk like they're trying not to flunk 7th-grade Spanish. Raleigh, meanwhile, is presented as a Byronic love guru, spouting homilies ("Why be afraid of tomorrow when today is all we have?") at every opportunity. Not a moment is left un-underscored by a soaring chorale, not a kiss is left un-backgrounded by a smoldering fire, not a pose left unstruck aboard a flaming vessel in the heat of battle.
Hmm. Cate probably rocks, as always, but I'm not exactly chomping at the bit anymore to see this bombastic silliness. I will see it of course. The sets and costumes and action are still probably phenomenal.


JOE * to * HELL said...

why doesnt she ever break out from these roles? she doe other crap, but its always the costume dramas that make her mark......i guess because she seems so frigid

Huntington said...

JTH, did you see Notes On A Scandal?

Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

See it for the sets and costumes? You almost sound as if you were...oh, I can't even say that word!