Elizabeth I (HBO)
Elizabeth I focuses on the latter years of the great English ruler’s reign, particularly on her volatile relationships with two men she loved, the Earl of Leicester and the Earl of Essex. The movie is sumptuous, beautifully lit and photographed, filled with dialogue at once stately and colloquial, and peopled with a cast of actors who seem to the Shakespearean manner born. Among them, Helen Mirren, as Elizabeth, rules this film. Whether impulsively ordering her palatial quarters stripped of mirrors or ruefully authorizing the beheading of a treasonous rival, whether giddily quivering over a handsome young nobleman or rallying England’s soldiers and serfs to resist a possible Spanish invasion, Mirren’s Elizabeth is a royal splendor in itself. For capturing both the grandeur and the agonizing personal realities of Queen Elizabeth’s life, a Peabody goes to Elizabeth I.
Executive producers: Suzan Harrison, George Faber, Charles Pattison, Nigel Williams. Producer: Barney Reisz. Director: Tom Hooper. Writer: Nigel Williams. Editors: Beverley Mills, Melanie Oliver. Director of photography: Larry Smith. Production designer: Eve Stewart. Cast: Helen Mirren, Jeremy Irons, Hugh Dancy, Ian McDiarmid, Patrick Malahide, Toby Jones, Barbara Flynn.