Kapur's regal pic added to 23rd Int'l Film Fest

TORONTO — This year’s Toronto Intl. Film Festival will feature the North American premiere of Shekhar Kapur’s “Elizabeth.”

It’s the third of this year’s 18 festival galas to be unveiled. The others are Robert Towne’s “Without Limits” and Francois Gerrard’s “The Red Violin,” which is the opening night gala. The 23rd Toronto Intl. Film Festival runs from Sept.10-19.

Directed by Kapur (“Bandit Queen”) and produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Alison Owen for Working Title Films, “Elizabeth” depicts the rise of the young Elizabeth Tudor (Cate Blanchett) to the English throne in 1558.

Entering a palace rife with intrigue and power politics, Elizabeth must choose between marrying a “suitable” royal and her childhood sweetheart, Robert Dudley (Joseph Fiennes).

In addition to Blanchett (“Oscar and Lucinda”) and Fiennes, the cast includes Richard Attenborough, Christopher Eccleston, Geoffrey Rush, Fanny Ardant, Kathy Burke and Vincent Cassel.

“It’s a very intelligent film about power and power politics,” said fest director Piers Handling. ”

Handling said that the film has a recognizable theme: “Somebody’s put in a moral quandary in which they have to make a decision, to leave a part of themselves behind in a sense.”

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