Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Tristan + Isolde

posted by jmiller
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences and some sexuality.
Profanity:Some strong medieval language
Nudity/Sex:Sexual references and non-explicit situations, including adultery
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking
Violence/Scariness:Graphic and gory battle violence, many deaths
Diversity Issues:A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006

Tristan and Isolde have suffered enough. This movie feels like overkill.


Oh, their legend will survive. But this classic comics-style perfume commercial of a re-telling will not.


The ampersand is a giveaway. “And” isn’t good enough? An ampersand is, what, edgier?


Who needs edgier when you’ve got James Franco? His cheekbones alone could cut glass, but, though he played James Dean in a made for television biopic, he is more sullen than brooding.

Edge isn’t exactly what this story needs. It is, after all, a classic of thwarted love. King Mark (Rufus Sewell), who is trying to hold together a fragile coalition of British lords, sends Tristan to win his bride Isolde (Sophia Myles), the sister of the king of Ireland. This is a strategic move. The Irish have been looting and oppressing the English, and Mark thinks that if he can unite the English and marry the Irish king’s sister, he may be able to achieve peace.


Tristan wins the bride, not knowing she is the woman he loves. After an earlier battle, she found him and nursed him back to health without telling him who she was. They fell in love. And now he has to delive her to another man. Mark saved Tristan’s life and raised him like a son after his parents were killed by the Irish. And Isolde’s marriage to Mark is the only chance for peace. It’s time for that noble speech — you know, the one about how “I could not love thee, dear, so much, loved I not honor more.”


Okay, that poem was about 400 years from being written. But that’s the idea.


It’s not awful — except for the instant camp of a scene where Isolde decides to warm up the injured Tristan by — taking off all her clothes and wrapping him in them and then hugging him nude, ordering her lady’s maid to do the same. It’s just syrupy. In this version, T&I get swept away not by grand passion but by pulsating hormones. Though they talk about honor and posterity and doing what’s best for others, they behave like a couple from “Desperate Housewives.”

Families who enjoy this movie might want to find out more about the real story or explore some of the other versions, like the opera by Wagner or the traditional poetic versions. They may also enjoy the story of King Arthur, which was inspired in part by this legend. They will also enjoy A Knight’s Tale, a silly but enteertaining story of knights and jousting with Sewell (who can out-brood Franco with one eye shut) as the bad guy.



Previous Posts

Start the School Year With a No-Screen Week
A new study shows another good reason to detox from all screen time now and then, especially for kids.  Children who take a five-day break from all screens are better at reading real-life facial expressions to understand the emotions of the people around them.  Psyblog described the study, which s

posted 3:56:33pm Sep. 01, 2014 | read full post »

COMING THIS MONTH: September 2014 Movies
Happy September!  There isn't much new in theaters this Friday, but next week things start to pick up. Here's the best of what's coming in theaters this month: September 12: "Dolphin Tale 2"  This sequel to the endearing fact-based "Dolphin Tale" brings back stars Harry Connick, Jr., Morgan Fr

posted 8:00:52am Sep. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Labor Day 2014: Movies About Unions
Today we pay tribute to workers, especially those who worked for better conditions for everyone. Sally Field won an Oscar for this real-life story about a courageous woman who helped mill workers form a union. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45CX8W9peTs[/youtube] Doris Day plays

posted 7:00:42am Sep. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Summer Summer-y: The Summer Movies of 2014
A few concluding thoughts on the summer movies of 2014: A good summer for food movies: "The Chef," "The 100-Foot Journey," and "The Trip to Italy" had some big-time actors but the real stars were the luscious meals. Special mention of the delicious French comedy "Le Chef," starring Jean Reno, as

posted 3:46:47pm Aug. 31, 2014 | read full post »

The Last Leonard Maltin Movie Guide
Leonard Maltin was only 17 years old when he was offered the chance to create his guide to movies on television. For many years, I kept the latest copy on my desk and anyone who came into my office could pick a page number at random. If I had not seen any of the movies on that page, I had to buy t

posted 8:00:33am Aug. 31, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.