Sunday, 29 March 2009

More Quibbles: Elizabeth

Cate Blanchett is a great actress, but her performance is sometimes upstaged by what they put her in...

A strapless bodice?  Bare arms?  Yes, I know they're covered in gauze, but but for period purposes, transparent counts as bare.  And is that a great big sequined bow on the skirt?  

Oh, Lizzie.  What are you wearing on your head?

Oh, I get it.  You're going for stark.  But Elizabeth without trim is like a rapper without bling.  Straight sleeves with little shoulder caps were pretty much a guy thing until the time of James I and you'd think she dealt with enough jokes about being mannish without actually dressing like one.  I really don't know what's up with that collar.  What's the weird feathery stuff on the cuffs?  And y'know, that 19th century Gothic Revival throne is really starting to annoy me.

Ugh.  The collar looks more Christian Lacroix than Queen Elizabeth, the greenish yellow is vomitworthy, and once again I am befuddled by that thing on her head.

One final question: what is it with blue in this movie?  Four of Elizabeth's gowns are powder blue.  And she's got two similar dresses (they clearly altered a single pattern) made of the exact same purple taffeta.  What sort of budget were they on?  Was Bob's Land of Upholstery giving discounts?  Couldn't they go for Elizabethan jewel tones instead of Rococo pastels?  

Maybe I shouldn't be so harsh.  The clothing designer came out and said they were going for a modern couture look loosely inspired by Elizabethan styles, and in some scenes it really does work for this film.  The trouble is that there's no continuity.  If you're going for stark (which makes sense when you've got ol' Lizzie kicking ass and facing the Armada), then stay stark all the way through.  Use bold colours and stop putting feathers on her head.

1 comment:

  1. It's actually the mannish sleeves that I would give a pass to. I could imagine Elizabeth deliberately putting a few 'masculine' touches in her clothing to emphasize her authority. I mean, I don't know whether she did and she probably didn't actually do so, but it doesn't seem jarring.