Two beautiful women on screen

I saw the first images of Golden Age on the big screen today. OK, so it was just the make up and costume tests. But hey, my breath was taken away by the beauty of the two women I saw on screen.

First Cate Blanchette. This woman only grows more beautiful with age. 8 years after I first saw her through the camera lens for Elizabeth, she looks more attractive. More formidable. More vulnerable.
And with her is the wonderful Abbie Cornish. Another Aussie, playing Bess Throckmorton. Abbie is a very contemporary looking girl, and has done some wonderful contemporary work. Check her out in her films, Sumersault, and Candy. I think there was some concern how she wold transform into a ‘period’ look.
I never worry about any of that. I look at myself and wonder, 400 years from now, if anyone makes a film about me, would they make me look ‘period’ ? People were living, breathing folks those days, and many of them walked with a slight hunch and a silly grin on their face like I do.
Anyway, Abbie looks just as wonderful in her period costumes. These two women have an enmeshed relationship in the film. I can’t explain it all now, but looking at the film from the mythic point of view, Bess Throckmorton represents the mortal side of Elizabeth. Amost as if Elizaebeth, in denial of her mortal, earthly, non divine self, has imposed that mortal self upon a younger, beautiful girl that is so obviously of the earth and mortality.
I can tell u though, this is going to be a very exciting relationship. Never seen this before, on screen.

7 thoughts on “Two beautiful women on screen

  1. Dear Shekhar,
    Are there books you can suggest that can reveal the relationship between Elizabeth and Bess and Sir Walter Raleigh and these women; not so much from a historical point of view but from a humanistic point of view?
    I saw “Bent” the other night on cable and I was blown away by Clive Owen’s performance. It’s absolutely Clive’s best performance in a movie thus far and I wonder how the Academy overlooked him for Best Actor. If you haven’t seen Bent, when you have a chance don’t miss it.
    The secret to Cate Blanchette, to me is not only her outer beauty it’s the intelligence and radiance which shines though in every performance she gives. You can just see it in her face. That’s why she’s so beautiful, without her inner self she’d just be another actress.
    Warmest Wishes,

  2. Do you plan, then, to have Elizabeth indulge her mortality vicariously through Bess? It sounds very titillating! It would have to be a strong woman who could not only live out Elizabeth’s mortal hopes, but also be an equal to Raleigh and keep his estate in order all those years he was imprisoned.
    So is Bess going to be your heroine, or Elizabeth?

  3. Mr Kapur:
    You may be as fascinating as your film! You are as a sculptor working with new clay or a painter working the colors on a fresh canvas. What a thrill for us observers!
    Ms. Blanchett is a chameleon of sorts. She is lean, angular, and strong. It is in her face and penetrating, beautiful eyes where vulnerability lies. The juxtaposition of Cate with the ethereal softness of the young Abbie will be interesting.
    The previous poster is so correct about Cate. She knows who she is, has no pretense, and radiates inner beauty and confidence. As for Clive, “Bent” was one of the most powerful performances I have ever seen. How many actors could pull off a love scene between two gay men in a Nazi death camp without even touching each other. Clive is a powerful screen presence and you are one lucky director.
    Best wishes.

  4. I can’t say anything about Abbie yet because I haven’t watched her films. But Cate, well, Cate really has a gift. She is exceedingly talented. She can be formidable, domineering, mighty and vulnerable, fragile at the same single moment. Because of this her performance is so powerful. She expresses the emotions not only with her face but with her whole body. This film is definitely going to be terrific.
    Best wishes and Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates!

  5. Mr. Kapur, you are one of only a few select directors who is capable of getting the most out of Blanchett. The only other names that come to my mind are Tykwer and Scorsese. I wholeheartedly agree with the previous posters. Most actors seem to recite the dialogue and THEN place the emphasis on emoting. Cate is the rarist of breeds who could conceivably act on the screen without uttering a word. You obviously saw something that we Cate fans saw during the trailer for Oscar and Lucinda. Thank you for sticking to your guns 8 years ago and insisting on keeping this “unknown actress” in the lead role. That, along with the film itself is probably your greatest contribution to film.
    People who admire Cate’s work also admire good film. Since, you are a consumate film maker, Blanchett fans are also Kapur fans.

  6. Rick, The great thing about Cate is the amount of work she puts in to creating the character. Not one detail escapes her. And yet she does not loose sight of the overall arc of the character. It’s in the fine tuning of it all that ultimately a great performance emerges. Shekhar

  7. Mr. Kapur,
    Getting back to your original post, the relationship between Bess and Elizabeth, the mortal/immortal, I was reminded of this poem by Louise Gluck:
    “The Triumph Of Achilles”
    (by Louise Gluck)
    In the story of Patroclus
    no one survives, not even Achilles
    who was nearly a god.
    Patroclus resembled him; they wore
    the same armor.
    Always in these friendships
    one serves the other, one is less than the other:
    the hierarchy
    is always apparent, though the legends
    cannot be trusted–
    their source is the survivor,
    the one who has been abandoned.
    What were the Greek ships on fire
    compared to this loss?
    In his tent, Achilles
    grieved with his whole being
    and the gods saw
    he was a man already dead, a victim
    of the part that loved,
    the part that was mortal.
    Mr. Kapur, I hope you include your comments on the DVD of “Golden Age” when it is eventually available to the public. Your approach is organic and poetical which is rare among most film makers today (even the independents). Your “director’s comments” continue to enrich my experience of your “Elizabeth” on DVD. Also, I sincerely enjoy your poetry on your web site. Most of your poems stem from a bedrock of wisdom. Yet some are extremely funny!

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