From executive producer Ridley Scott (Gladiator) comes a sweeping, action-packed saga of epic battles, political intrigue and forbidden passion, set in a time when the lines between heroism and savagery were etched in fire... more » and carved out with broadswords. After the fall of Rome, visionary warlord Marke (Rufus Sewell) seeks to unite the squabbling English tribes to form one strong nationand defeat brutal Irish King Donnchadh. But when Lord Marke?s greatest and most loyal knight, Tristan (James Franco), falls in love with Isolde (Sophia Myles), a beautiful Irish woman, it threatens to destroy the fragile truce and ignite a war. In the spirit of Braveheart and A Knight?s Tale, TRISTAN+ ISOLDE is a rousing tale of trust and treachery that will leave you breathless!« less
Holly M. from HUNTINGTON, WV Reviewed on 7/29/2010...
Decent film a little on the slow side. Wonderful story.
Alice H. (singlegalkansas) from TOPEKA, KS Reviewed on 2/6/2009...
I enjoyed this movie very much! Good story, romantic....
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 01/16/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The romantic saga of "Tristan and Isolde" has been re-told several times, notably in the opera by Richard Wagner. It's also been said to be Shakespeare's inspiration for his "Romeo and Juliet" as well as for the Arthurian legend of Lancelot and Guinevere. And so we come to the Kevin Reynolds's film of this story and, despite Reynolds's poor track record and poor rep even though he has had some genuine hits..."T&I" is good: not great but at best truthful and engaging and at worst...silly. Tristan is played by a moody, pouty-lipped, can't shake the James Dean connection, James Franco. And believe it or not all of the aforementioned traits help to make his character believable: no wimp this Tristan...he is also a brave, skilled warrior. Franco uses his innate vulnerability to balance the obvious and necessary machismo of this role. The major find though is Sophia Myles as Isolde. Her Isolde is full of fire and intelligence and her very being on the screen is so filled with light that she is almost phosphorescent: she literally glows. She is a major talent along the same line as Lynne Collins in the recent "Merchant of Venice." There is a lot of warring and fueding and the requisite battle scenes are well choreographed and believable: Reynolds is nothing if not good with staging battle scenes. "Tristan and Isolde" is very well made and for a story from the middle ages, surprisingly coherent and meaningful. But the main reason to see this film is for the incandescent, beautiful Isolde of Sophia Myles. "
A subtly powerful movie thankfully grounded in realism
SteppingRZA | USA | 05/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Water is a recurring theme throughout Tristan & Isolde, one of life, of duty, of entrapment, of renewal, and of finality.... and fittingly the film feels like water for a thirsty soul... in a sea of formulaic, shallow and cliched movies. Tristan & Isolde is a blessing in a time when overracting and overwrought delivery is given kudos and a host of awards. Tristan & Isolde gives us the opposite, striving for realism and plausibility, rather than overripe lines and the type of emotional reactions you'd only find in Hollywood movies. Perhaps for that very same reason - because it doesn't deliver the same old cliches, the same old overdone acting - it's been criticized by many critics as being unemotional and the actors' deliveries undercooked. Tristan & Isolde is bold in its own quiet way just because it doesn't go Hollywood. Rather, we get an understated emotional experience, a style/delivery that American directors/producers have long forgotten. Don't listen to the majority of critics on this one. The cast is well-chosen, and the direction worthy of a standing ovation because the actors portray their characters and deliver their lines -- capturing emotions ranging from a sense of betrayal and confusion to sadness, longing and pain -- in an honest, understated way, much how I see people in real life act when experiencing similar situations. And thankfully, in line with the movie's realism, there are no grandiose speeches, which usually are par for the course whenever you have love and swords in a movie. (Think Gladiator, Lord of the Rings, Braveheart, and on and on) And there are no melodramatic, overdone deaths scenes.... This movie quickly joins my list of favorite movies. And, if you're one for formulaic movies full of Hollywoodisms and "sword and sandals" cliches, then you're better off avoiding Tristan & Isolde. Tristan & Isolde is a movie for the smarter moviegoer, who likes realism with their entertainment. Some have called the actors' performances wooden, but perhaps only because such critics have been born and bred on phony, over-the-top acting. The story is one of love, duty and loyalty... and pained betrayal, as well as understanding..... and it's a movie that resonates more with multiple viewings, as themes and elements become more clear, and the movie deeper as you see threads running through the film that you may not have caught on first viewing. The movie is ultimately heartbreaking, but I still keep on returning to it. American directors would benefit if they learned the power of subtlety and natural direction and delivery. Until then, I have Tristan & Isolde to come back to."
An enjoyable film about betrayal and forbidden love
Michelle888 | Australia | 03/26/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was never familiar with the legend of doomed lovers Tristan and Isolde, but I must admit that even before seeing any preview, I wanted to see the movie because of the reference to Romeo and Juliet, plus I'm a sucker for movies set in that era.
Set in Britain in the Dark Ages, just after the Romans ended their occupation, the barons are fighting among themselves much to the glee of Ireland's King Donnchadh for it gives him power over Britain. But one of the English barons plan a treaty that will unite all the powerful English lords and thereby bring an end to Ireland's power. But the Irish king foils their plan leaving the Lord of Aragon dead and his son orphaned. Fast-forward to nine years and we see Tristan of Aragon in the care of Lord Marke who raised Tristan like his own son. One day, after slaying the Irish warrior who killed his father, Tristan was badly injured and thought dead by his clan. Set adrift in the sea, fate takes his boat to the Irish coast where the beautiful Irish princess, Isolde, finds him and nurses him to recovery. Along the way, the couple falls in love only to be separated when almost discovered by Isolde's father.
But it seems that fate hasn't finished playing her joke on the star-crossed lovers. With the Irish king's offer for a truce comes his daughter's hand in marriage along with a large dowry. Now Tristan fights in a tournament on behalf of Lord Marke, unaware that the woman he fights for is the same one whom he fell in love with. And so begins the epic story of betrayal, passion and forbidden love.
If you enjoyed the story of Romeo and Juliet, or the love-triangle between King Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot, then you will enjoy TRISTAN AND ISOLDE. James Franco and Sophia Myles produce a believable romance, and the supporting characters are good too with a special mention to Rufus Sewell (Lord Marke). The costumes are great, the battle was good, but never gory, and the overall atmosphere of the movie adds to the drama.
I agree that this movie is under rated. I'm not sure what the backlash is but then I don't really read the critics' reviews. What's important is that I was kept entertained throughout the whole movie and recommend this to anyone who enjoys movies of similar genre."
no one of consequence | USA | 05/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This version does not follow the classical Arthurian form of the Tristan and Isolde legend. However, I found the logic of the film to be internally consistent. I enjoyed that Lord Marke was an honorable and kind man that both Tristan and Isolde respect and care for. The three main characters are complex and not caricatures; having Marke be a decent person makes Tristan and Isolde's decisions that much more painful (and truer to life-- love triangles are rarely made up of clearly good and clearly evil people).
James Franco's Tristan is subtle and restrained. Some have called his performance wooden-- I suggest that the viewer needs to look more closely at Tristan's expressions. Franco manages to convey pain and regret quietly, without any scenery chewing.
Swordfighting and horsemanship are excellent (particularly nice is the final fight in the tournament between Tristan and Wictred). The love scenes are quite tastefully done; never more than bare shoulders or upper back are shown."
Directly from the text--excellent!!
D. White | Atlanta, GA | 12/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I went to this movie last year with some trepidation because I just knew that the screenwriters would mess with the original text. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised!! Almost line-by-line from the beautiful French romance. Well worth every minute. I just love it when someone cares enough about an original story to tell it as it was written."