Elizabeth (1998)

Cate Blanchett laces up in the corset of Queen Elizabeth I for this film, which follows the early years of her reign. When her half-sister Mary I dies, Elizabeth takes the throne and juggles potential suitors while facing the threat of invasion by France and Spain. Geoffrey Rush and Joseph Fiennes co-star in this superb drama that thankfully gave Cate the exposure her undeniable talent demands.

Side note: Cate lost the Best Actress Oscar to Gwyneth Paltrow, despite our firm belief that her performance was worthy of the win. However, another actress who portrayed Queen Elizabeth I did pick up Oscar gold that year. Judi Dench, who played the Queen alongside Gwyneth in Shakespeare in Love, was named Best Supporting Actress.

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