A huge disappointment after the first movie. Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush were very good, and aged nicely, but I found many of the other characters somewhat caricatures (such as the Spanish ambassador and the young German prince). Clive Owen did not seem at all the right person to play Raleigh, who was both a scholar and a swashbuckler. Making Raleigh the focus of much of the movie, romantically involved with the queen and hero of the defeat of the armada (neither historically accurate - didn't the director know that Raleigh stayed on shore, and hadn't he ever heard of Howard of Effingham or Francis Drake?!), was unfortunate. It meant that the movie largely glossed over the incredibly convoluted manoeuvers that Elisabeth was forced into when ruling over a small country still deeply divided between Protestant and Catholic, and with Catholic monarchs on the continent eager to conquer England either by marrying her or by invasion.
The sets are dramatic throughout, and the interview with the set designer was fascinating, but I couldn't help thinking that the Tudor palaces were not built to the same scale as the gothic cathedrals. For example, Winchester has the longest nave in Europe, and it seems quite out of proportion when occupied by only one or two actors.