Tristan and Isolde (Widescreen Edition)

 
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Product Description

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 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!

Luscious cinematography and even more luscious stars make Tristan & Isolde a feast for the eyes. Adapted from the medieval love story, the movie begins with with young Tristan (played as a child by Thomas Sangster, Love Actually) as he sees his parents killed by the tyrannical Irish, who ruled over a fractured Britain after the Roman occupation. Taken in by Marke (Rufus Sewell, Dark City), who rules one of the British tribes, Tristan (James Franco, Spider-Man) grows up to be a young prince and a mighty warrior--and when he's believed slain in battle, he's given a royal funeral, which sends him out sea in a burning boat. But the fire goes out and Tristan washes ashore on Ireland, where Isolde (Sophia Myles, Art School Confidential), the daughter of the Irish king, nurses him back to health. Being a lovely pair of young folk bursting with hormones, they fall madly in love... and set in motion a tragic tale that's lasted for centuries in many variations. Some reviewers have criticized Tristan & Isolde for deviating from the most common classical version, but the movie's storyline--though certainly altered to appeal to modern audiences--is fairly strong. Myles and especially Sewell turn in strong performances; Franco, however, though surprisingly persuasive as a warrior, never burns as a lover. Nonetheless, the loving shots of Franco's muscular physique will make this a must-have for his fans. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews:

  • A movie worth watching!
    Tristan and Isolde brings to the screen the forbidden love between a young Irish princess and one of her father's British prince vassals.
    The Dark Ages have settled over the British Isles following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD.
    Among the roman ruins, various factions like the Britons, the Picts, the Angles, and the Saxons are striving for supremacy all under the watchful eyes of the Irish King.
    James Franco, Sophia Myles, Rufus Sewell, David O'Hara, Thomas Sangster and the rest of the cast have truly outdone themselves with their performances, which are outstanding to say the least! All the actors, without exceptions, give it their 100% and it really shows!
    The setting, the plot, the dialogues, the fight/battle scenes, and the music are all wonderful!
    In conclusion, Tristan and Isolde will surely provide for an evening's entertainment. It is a movie definitely worth watching and one to seriously consider adding to your movie collection. 4.5 Stars
    ...more info
  • I loved this movie!!!
    I bought the DVD before I even watched the movie, which I really don't do that often, but I'm glad I did b/c this movie was sooo good! I normally don't watch these types of movies but I decided to give this one a try and I can say now that it's one of my favorite movies. The situation that they find themselves in is so sad yet it's so hard to hate Lord Mark (Tristan's husband) the one Tristan won Isolde for. It's a really twisted movie and I highly recommend it. ...more info
  • Deceptive Advertising by Amazon
    I ordered this DVD (Tristan + Isolde, 20th Century Fox) fully expecting it to be a DVD production of the Wagner opera. There was nothing I saw on Amazon.COM to indicate it was just a movie. Needless to say I am very disappointed. I believed I was searching under "Opera" and "Wagner", so I believed that the "Tristan + Isolde" I ordered was indeed the opera.
    SO, I am accusing Amazon of false and disceptive advertising. SHAME ON YOU, Amazon!
    Had I been a more astute opera fan, I guess I should have realized that James Franco and Sophia Myles are not Wagnerian opera singers. My failing....more info
  • This movie is terrible
    I love the story of Tristan and Isolde, so when this movie came out I was really excited to see it. But it was an incredible dissapointment. I guess I should have known it was doomed from the start, but unfortunately they took the best six or seven bits of the movie and stuck them in the trailer so I really had no idea of the depths it would sink to. First of all, none of these actors are any good. At all. They just don't have the breadth to play these parts. Franco and Myles often get so worked up that their accents go out the window and they start squabbling like a couple of California teenagers. Badly acted California teenagers. It's not entirely their fault; I'm sure they'd be fine if they were cast in roles that were less of a stretch for them (an example: James Franco is the only one in Spiderman who doesn't suck). But an ancient Irish princess and British warrior are apparently too much of a challenge. The other actors aren't very good either. The King of Ireland has an accent that is so obviously scottish that I kept expecting him to scream "Pass the haggis!", and even Rufus Sewell fails to do a convincing job with his part.

    The screenplay is also bad, as is the editing. The fight scenes were blurry and hard to follow with way too many cutaway shots, and some bright person decided that the Irish and the English should have absolutely identical battle armor so that no one would ever be able to figure out who was who. It was utterly impossible to tell who was winning.

    And I know that some people just don't care about things like this, but the historical innacuracies REALLY bothered me. I'll just list them. It is highly unlikely that the Saxons and the Celts would have been cooperating. Ireland is portrayed as a united country, which it was not. It was a bunch of tribes, just like Britain. The evil empire vibe just doesn't fit. "Dunluce", obviously Dublin, is the seat of the high king of Ireland in this movie, which is ridiculous. The high king's seat is at Tara, and Dublin didn't even exist yet. It was founded hundreds of years later by the Vikings. Calling Tristan "English" is an anachronism, since he was, in fact, a Celt. English refers to the anglo-saxons, and I believe the term wasn't invented until much later. And the Irish would have been Christian at that point since it was well after Saint Patrick.

    The only good thing about this movie was the prolific shots of beautiful British and Irish landscape, but for me it was just too little too late. ...more info
  • Romance
    I bought this movie on the recommendation of my daughter, it's now become a part of my permanent movie library. If you want a great romance movie, this is it. ...more info
  • Beautiful and Refreshing!
    It is not just a tragic love story, nor is it just a sword-wielding knights movie, and this is exactly what I like about this movie. Before this motion picture, my knowledge about Tristan & Isolde was Wagner's opera. But I have to say that this movie has given me entirely different feelings. The different twists to the story, the removal of "the love potion" for one, make the love story all the more realistic and touching.
    James Franco as the handsome Tristan is affecting as both a heroic warrior and a tormented lover. Some may argue there is lacking in his portrayal, I'd say that there is layers and depth in his acting. Besides the extremely convincing physical acting, such as sword-fighting, Franco portrays Tristan with great internal strength and emotion subtleties, which are all consistent with the character as a young boy. Matching very well with Tristan's strength, Sophia Myles' Isolde is beautiful, intelligent, and earthy. Thanks to the wonderful acting, the passionate love between Tristan and Isolde is revealed beyond a somewhat clich¨¦d script. Rufus Sewell gives a sensitive portrayal of Lord Marke, who, instead of a villain, was written as a good guy in this movie. The emotion complexities from the love triangle successfully raised the tension of the story.
    A beautiful film like this would deserve a beautiful score, and indeed, it got one. Poignant, elegant, and with a Celtic flavor, Anne Dudley's score captures the spirit of the story and vividly brings out every detail of the drama. The cinematography gives a somewhat dark colored palette that reflects the gloominess of the time while preserving the raw beauty of the Ireland coast. I regret that I missed the chance to see this film in theatre. It would have been magnificent!
    ...more info
  • Excellent
    Love this movie. Have watched it 5 times and think about watching it everyday. Great story! Great acting!! Great Everything!!!...more info
  • Awesome
    This movie, though not true to the myth, is an amazing piece of work. Every emotion is portrayed through facial expressions and music rather than words. Its heart wrenching, but well done. I've watched it about 100 times now and I have yet to be bored. An awesome movie anyone looking for a good romance will love....more info
  • Directly from the text--excellent!!
    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....more info
  • soul-ful and timeless
    I did love this movie as I LOVE the story of Tristan and Isolde. It is a timeless story about a forbidden love. It is very sad, so have some tissue handy. Also it is based on the true love triangle between King Mark, Isolde and Tristan. ...more info
  • worst movie ever
    It was terrible. Tristan was the greatest fighter around and had the most melancholy spirit. He spent most of the movie morose and scowling. yes, his family died, but EVERYONE'S family died at the beginning. as for Isolde, she she had an opportunity to not marry King Mark-when she first met him she could have been honest with him-, but she married him anyway, and then started sleeping around behind his back. i cant feel any sympathy for her because she chose to marry someone other than Tristan and then she chose to cheat and then she chose to run away from her problems which screwed up everyone else's lives....more info
  • Beautiful
    This is one of my favorite love stories. I didn't even mind the ending :) I fell in love with Tristan and Isolde from the beginning. For those of us who wonder if true love is real...this movie gives you hope. It didn't feel like a fairy tale to me. This story felt real to me and I appreciate that....more info
  • Sooo romantic...
    Filmed in beautiful rural Ireland which adds to the romance...James Franco is definiitely hot in this......more info
  • Not 'run of the mill' Hollywood
    I was exceedingly impressed with this film. You must be an emotionally driven person to enjoy it because this film is all about emotion. I guess there just wasnt enough blood and guts for a couple of the folks who posted reviews. This movie is anything but boreing! Its not just some love story someone made up to make a movie. It is an age old legend birthed in the dark era that has stood the test of time!! Finally someone with a great idea for a film. It is a self proclaimed low budget film but you cannot tell. I appreciate the honesty of the story; not overdone or flaky by any means. The chemistry between Franco and Myles is utterly captivating and I am in awe of the musical score! I actually purchased the soudtrack before I bought the DVD. I think the music is one of the elements that drove this story home for me. The emotion of every scene is carefully portrayed in the music.

    I have had enough of movie critics. I dont think that films like this one should suffer at the hand of some stupid critic who has no idea what people want to see.

    This one is right up there with LOTR, Braveheart, Gladiator. Moving. Inspiring. Captivating. SEE IT.

    ...more info
  • Awesome Movie !!!!
    A coworker lent this movie to me yesterday evening and I watched it and thought...Brilliant! I've never been a fan of James Franco (even though I've seen flashes of him in the Spiderman advertisements, didn't even know who he really was to be honest & didn't care to find out, until now ;). What a gorgeous man! I'm buying a copy of this movie & Annapolis (another movie I heard he's in) to add to my collection right now. This movie is definitely a KEEPER !...more info
  • Loves prevails over all
    Well, having done some research on the "true" Tristan and Isolde I find that I like the story line in this movie much better than the "poems" or writings of the Tristan and Isolde story that is said to have taken place in the year 780. It is more believable than some fable of a knight and princess drinking a love potion and Tristan slaying a dragon to win her for Mark. The true story line has been lost for years so there will be many a variation about their love affair, but they did exist, and they did love one another, that much is true. I was glued to the screen from the beginning of the movie. I did only give it 4 stars as I would like to have seen a little more on both characters childhoods, just a little bit more, but overall I thought it was an achievment in the re-telling of the story. We have to remember that this was the kind of story that was retold for ages and inspired some of the greatest writers of our time. I think both Sophia and James were very beliveable and I couldn't help but cry at the end, which to me represents great acting to move me so much that I would cry. It is a beautiful love story and one I will keep in my collection. ...more info
  • Beautifully shot and romantic
    I love watching movies like this. Period romances are great and tragedies are even better. Though I didn't love Tristan and Isolde, I did like it alot. The look of the film is just stunning. Muted colors and filtered light really enhance the feel of the film and make the dark ages appealing.

    The plot, however is a bit choppy and empty at times. The trailer to the film is actually a bit decieving. When viewing it, I thought the film would go in an entirely different direction. I was actually pleasantly surprised. Whom I initially perceived to be the 'bad guy'-wasn't and it was a nice change of pace.

    What really makes this film work is the wonderful acting. Sophia Myles as the lovely Isolde is genuine and really fits the role. But it is James Franco that really elevates this film. His tender, tragic portrayal as the brave Tristan really won me over. He does tortured very, very well. He looks the part, he acts the part and even though his English accent is not up to par, I barely even noticed it because he is just an engrossing presence on screen. You can just tell that his heart is breaking when the woman he loves must marry another.

    After viewing, I did some research on the actual legend and found that it varies from different sources. Still, I feel that the tragedy part of the myth stayed intact, no matter what version it derived from. I found the film's intrepretation to be memorable and perfectly adequate for this day and age. ...more info
  • Perhaps the perfect date movie...
    I really enjoyed Tristan + Isolde...in fact, much more than I thought I might.
    The performances were all excellent, especially those of James Franco, Rufus Sewell and the radiant Sophia Myles. The period details and production design were quite well-done. Best of all, the script dealt with such big themes as love, honor, duty and even redemption, but not in a heavy-handed fashion.
    I had recommended Tristan + Isolde to a friend who likes Jane Austen novels. The movie has that sort of grand, sweeping romanticism she would probably like coupled with enough sword fights and action scenes to keep the boys in the audience entertained as well...in other words, this is perhaps the perfect date movie.
    ...more info
  • Lovely, and amazing!
    This is a beautifully well-acted, well-written love story. The movie is based on a famous legend which made it all the more appealing. The cast was superb and brought this mix of love, adventure, betrayal, and redemption to life. I highly suggest that you see this underrated flim....more info
  • An insult to the honorable
    This movie is ok in its way, howver, those connected with it obviously have no concept of the meaning of honnor or duty and, if they have ever bothered to read the original romance understood nothing. Tristan in this version is spitefull, self-centered and mean spirited. He blames Isolde for the failure of his relationship and forces her to betray her husband, and the man who cared for him a a child. The mythical Tristan was a man of great honor and integrity, who put honor, loyalty and duty above all else. He did not betray his lord or his friends. King Mark of Cornwall in the legend wrongly suspected the couple of an illicit affair. Incidentally, the makers of this movie also call Tristan 'Traistan of Aragon' which is in Spain. He was actually from Lyonesse, which now lies beneath the English Channel....more info
  • Fabulous Film
    This movie was fabulous. The acting,costumes, and script. I will view this over and over again....more info
  • romanticly sweet
    this was such a good movie, not exact to the myth of the lovers.... but a really romantic story that was so close...more info
  • wonderful love story
    I had never heard of Tristan and Isolde before watching this movie. After watching this movie, it reminded me somewhat of Romeo and Juliet.

    Tristan, a Brit, and Isolde fall in love when Isolde brings him back to health. (At her maid's urging, Isolde doesn't tell Tristan her real name. Instead, she uses her maid's name.) However, Isolde's father, the Irish king, hears about an enemy on land and goes in search for him. Isolde manages to help Tristan escape. The king never knows who it was.

    In an attempt to cause divisions among the Brits, Isolde's father has proposed an tournament. The winner of the tournament will get his daughter in marriage. Tristan volunteers to join the tournament to win the daughter for his king.

    Of course, Tristan and Isolde realizes they're trapped with their duties when Tristan wins and discovers who the bride is. Despite their duties, they find other ways to express their love. As love progresses, they become bolder. However, these bold displays of love soon catches the attention of others. The other people decide to expose their affair to the king.

    Love, forbidden or not, will not be deterred.

    What can I say? Wonderful cast. Wonderful and romantic sceneries. Wonderful story. The only thing that I wasn't satisfied was the development of tension/jealousy between Tristan and his fellow comrades. It was sort of sudden. Other than that, simply wonderful....more info
  • Great Movie
    This movie is the best movie I have seen in a year. Don't get me wrong James Franco was hot in this picture. I figured this movie would be boring but it caught mt attention. I seen James's other movies so I thought I should watch this one. All I have to say is that I love it!!...more info
  • "Every look he gives you, I get sicker and sicker. "
    Isolde-If things were different, if we lived in a world without duty, would you be with me?
    Tristan-That world does not exist.
    Isolde-I'll pretend it's you...
    This movie had be captured from the very beginning. I do not at all agree with reviews I have read about it not being a good love story and it making you roll your eyes. It was very good, good actors, good story. I would actually prefer this over a number of love stories, it's in my top 3 of them. And I have also read that it's not believable that they fell in love in just a few days, but what about Romeo and Juliet?..that was basically love at first sight. I am one of the most romantic saps you will ever meet and I am very judgemental about love stories. To me, along with Pride and Prejudice and Romeo and Juliet, this is one of the best love stories ever told....more info
  • Enchanting
    I watched this yesterday and was glad that I grabbed it at the library. I loved the trailer and somehow missed this, when it played at movie theaters. The plot was interesting and the cinemetography was amazing.

    Overall, I'd suggest it as a perfect date movie or a "chick flick."...more info
  • Pretty good
    I liked it, for the most part (although I didn't like the actor playing Tristan--he just bothers me for some reason...). Maybe my history is fuzzy but I don't remember the Irish dominating Britain. Didn't the Angles and the Saxons show up considerably after the Roman period? Hadn't the Pics already faded from the scene? Where were the Romanized British?

    Anyway, it was pretty good for the type of movie. Nothing, however, to get excited about.
    ...more info
  • Superb
    Wonderful acting, beautifully filmed in Ireland and the Czech Republic, a variation on an ancient and timeless tale, and well worth watching. The box office grosses worldwide simply underscore the fact that movie making is a real crapshoot, which those in the business know all to well. Ridley Scott was behind this, and they used every dollar as frugally as they could; yet the grosses are terrible given the exceptional quality of the film. So much work and so little return. People have to love movie making just to be willing to run the gauntlet of such a risky process.

    Having grown up around top-notch filmmakers, including Academy Award winners, and having watched them sit home for months at a time waiting for their next project that would take them away from their homes and families for months at a time, merely underscored what a tortuous process it is. Furthermore, to witness a film being made is like watching salami being produced; it is not something that you want to see - for example, it is boring beyond belief.

    Tristan and Isolde -- with superb performances by James Franco, Sophia Myles and Rufus Sewell -- should have been box office magic but it wasn't, although it is certainly a creative success. This should be fair warning to all who aspire to work in the film industry that its streets are paved with heartaches and only gold for a few. You have to be driven and love it, or it will kill your spirit if nothing else. Yet, isn't that the message of this movie; namely, sometimes love does kill the spirit and people, but in the final analysis it is magic and worth it....more info
  • Stellar story or star-crossed lovers
    Having an M.A. in English literature as well as a B.A. in literature and history, anytime a movie is BOTH historical AND literary . . . well, I get a bit excited to say the least. I don't wish to give the impression that this movie is based on absolute and authentic history because it's not, but the writers/directors/producers set it against a "historical" backdrop nonetheless. On that note, this is yet another stellar title from noneother than Ridley Scott. With that being said, I enjoyed "Tristan and Isolde" almost as much as "Gladiator" and a bit more than "Kingdom of Heaven" (all of these, by the way, are Ridley Scott films). Notice the historical adaptations here?

    While it may be true that the story of Tristan and Isolde was inspirational to Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" as well as possibly fueling much of the intrigue of the Arthurian legend, this movie is not exclusively for the high-browed college types. No sir, good ol' red-blooded men and women will certainly be drawn into both the action as well as the romance in this movie. This is by no means a "chick flick" since there is present a large degree of bloodshed and overall suspense. On the other hand, it's not the typical "hack and slash" macho film because at its core is a very dynamic love story. In short, it should please both sexes simultaneously.

    Aside from James Franco (Tristan), I was rather unfamiliar with most of the cast. Sophia Myles (Isolde) is, for the most part, a newcomer to American audiences despite a rather large resume in mostly British films. I suspect this film will provide her the recognition she certainly deserves on this side of the Atlantic. While many of the other characters were convincing in their roles, no other character was more believable in his villainy than that of the arrogant Irish king (who just so happens to be Isolde's father).

    In short, this is one of the best movies I've seen in awhile. On some levels it reminds me of "King Arthur." Just as "King Arthur" attempted to provide a plausible history of the legendary Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot, so too does Ridley Scott by placing the action a few years after the establishment of the Angle and Saxon kingdoms in England. If you'll recall in "King Arthur," Arthur helps hold back the onslaught of the invading Saxons just as the Roman legions were exiting Britannia. Historians will point out that there is no evidence of Saxons in England until several decades AFTER the Roman withdrawal, but oh well . . . it made for a good story. Here, we witness the Celtic Britons as they are exploited by the Irish across sea. WHAT???? The Irish doing the exploiting and not the other way around? Well, "Tristan and Isolde" holds true to history in this aspect; namely, that the Celtic Britons of England were indeed pushed to the easternmost shores of the island after the coming of the Anglo-Saxons. This would, of course, have placed them in what is now Wales and Cornwall. And this is exactly where the movie is set. Let's not forget the story of Saint Patrick. Remember, he was actually a Romanized Briton who was captured and served as a slave in Ireland before escaping and ultimately returning to Ireland to convert the populace to Christianity. It's interesting to note that in the movie Christianity is a fairly new-fangled religion in Ireland, so no doubt Ridley Scott intended this to remind us of the time period at hand.

    I particulary liked "King Arthur" and "Kingdom of Heaven" despite the lukewarm reception they received from the critics. Critically speaking, "Tristan and Isolde" has been a bit of a mixed bag as well---but who really bases their decision to watch a movie on the arrogant views of movie critics?

    Rent it first if you must, but I suspect this one will be a "keeper" in your DVD library!
    ...more info
  • Tristan and Isolde not your typical chick flick
    Tristan and Isolde came before there was a Romeo and Juliet. And I can see perhaps why they are less talked about. The movie is not the best chick flick but not the worst. There is a lot of war and you have to keep track of the characters.
    I feel like there isn't enough character development. I found Melot more admirable than the character of Tristan. Tristan tries to be selfless but ends up becoming selfish as he pursues Isolde regardless of the fact that she is now married to the man who took him in. Both characters choose deception to be together knowing that peace in Ireland depends on the said marriage.
    The actions and decisions chosen by the characters cannot be undone and I think that is what leads to their downfall. I rented this in the hopes that watching this may make me shed a few tears but would otherwise be an enjoyable experience. This movie itself is not all that bad just know what you are getting into....more info
  • A memorable tale of ageless, romantic love......
    The film's tagline likens it to "Romeo and Juliet" but the tale of Tristan and Isolde is an age old tale that is almost as old as tales of King Arthur himself.

    Those familiar with the tales of Arthur and Guinevere will recognize Tristan - many stories, after all, recall that this Tristan is the same knight who sat at King Arthur's round table. But this tale is not only of heroism and chivalry but also of love. Tristan falls in love with the beautiful and mysterious Irish lady who saves him from near death. He returns to his family and his guardian Lord Mark (Rufus Sewell) in England and later promises to win him the Irish king's daughter for a wife. He soon discovers that this Irish princess is Isolde, the same young woman who saved his life. A love triangle then develops as Isolde marries Lord Mark even as she still loves Tristan. Tristan then has to chose between loyalty to his king (and the man who raised him like a son) or the love of Isolde.

    The enigmatic Sophia Myles is perfect as Isolde - a strong and devoted young woman who is torn between two men. James Franco cuts quite a figure as the handsome and heroic Tristan. Rufus Sewell, as always, is excellent as the honorable King Mark. The film itself is well done - with beautiful cinematography, fine acting, great action sequences and an engrossing plot.

    I highly recommend "Tristan and Isolde" to those who enjoy well made love stories or Arthurian tales. I would especially recommend this to fans of Ms. Myles, Mr. Franco and Mr. Sewell - three fine actors who really shine in this film and elevate it to something more than a Romeo & Juliet-type tale....more info
  • tristan & Isolde
    DVD skipped scenes and the sound went out several places. I tried it in two different players. I mailed it back on 12/31/07 and still haven't heard anything from them (as of 01/16/08) I sent them an e-mail asking about it and haven't gotten a reply....more info
  • Stellar story of star-crossed lovers
    Having an M.A. in English literature as well as a B.A. in literature and history, anytime a movie is BOTH historical AND literary . . . well, I get a bit excited to say the least. I don't wish to give the impression that this movie is based on absolute and authentic history because it's not, but the writers/directors/producers set it against a "historical" backdrop nonetheless. On that note, this is yet another stellar title from noneother than Ridley Scott. With that being said, I enjoyed "Tristan and Isolde" almost as much as "Gladiator" and a bit more than "Kingdom of Heaven" (all of these, by the way, are Ridley Scott films). Notice the historical adaptations here?

    While it may be true that the story of Tristan and Isolde was inspirational to Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" as well as possibly fueling much of the intrigue of the Arthurian legend, this movie is not exclusively for the high-browed college types. No sir, good ol' red-blooded men and women will certainly be drawn into the both the action as well as the romance in this movie. This is by no means a "chick flick" since there is present a large degree of bloodshed and overall suspense. On the other hand, it's not the typical "hack and slash" macho film because at its core is a very dynamic love story. In short, it should please both sexes simultaneously.

    Aside from James Franco (Tristan), I was rather unfamiliar with most of the cast. Sophia Myles (Isolde) is, for the most part, a newcomer to American audiences despite a rather large resume in mostly British films. I suspect this film will provide her the recognition she certainly deserves on this side of the Atlantic. While many of the other characters were convincing in their roles, no other character was more believable in his villainy than that of the arrogant Irish king (who just so happens to be Isolde's father).

    In short, this is one of the best movies I've seen in awhile. On some levels it reminds me of "King Arthur." Just as "King Arthur" attempted to provide a plausible history of the legendary Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot, so too does Ridley Scott by placing the action a few years after the establishment of the Angle and Saxon kingdoms in England. If you'll recall in "King Arthur," Arthur helps hold back the onslaught of the invading Saxons just as the Roman legions were exiting Britannia. Historians will point out that there is no evidence of Saxons in England until several decades AFTER the Roman withdrawal, but oh well . . . it made for a good story. Here, we witness the Celtic Britons as they are exploited by the Irish across sea. WHAT???? The Irish doing the exploiting and not the other way around? Well, "Tristan and Isolde" holds true to history in this aspect; namely, that the Celtic Britons of England were indeed pushed to the easternmost shores of the island after the coming of the Anglo-Saxons. This would, of course, have placed them in what is now Wales and Cornwall. And this is exactly where the movie is set. Let's not forget the story of Saint Patrick. Remember, he was actually a Romanized Briton who was captured and served as a slave in Ireland before escaping and ultimately returning to Ireland to convert the populace to Christianity. It's interesting to note that in the movie Christianity is a fairly new-fangled religion in Ireland, so no doubt Ridley Scott intended this to remind us of the time period at hand.

    I particulary liked "King Arthur" and "Kingdom of Heaven" despite the lukewarm reception they received from the critics. Critically speaking, "Tristan and Isolde" has been a bit of a mixed bag as well---but who really bases their decision to watch a movie on the arrogant views of movie critics?

    Rent it first if you must, but I suspect this one will be a "keeper" in your DVD library! ...more info
  • A good movie
    I have to admit I loved this movie. A love story yes but also a movie filled with action. James Franco is great as the heart stricken Tristan. He is able to do something that not many actors today can do. He acts well with his eyes. I'll explain. You feel his pain without him saying much. Robert Deniro comes to mind (Sleepers)as an example. You really feel a chemistry between Tristan and Isolde because of their acting skills. Will James Franco ever be as big as say Leo Decaprio or Matt Damon? Probably not but this is his moment to shine. Enjoy....more info
  • tristan & isolde
    If you enjoy a good love story, I would highly recommend the haunting & little known story of Tristan & Isolde. There are several versions of this tale, & the movie picks a powerful one in which Isolde takes center stage. Truly, Sophia Myles (as Isolde) commands every scene that she is in. Not that James Franco (as Tristan) doesn't make a strong appearance. He just seems more like the strong, silent type here. His emotional depth is found in what he does more than what he says. His "stalking" of Isolde & King Marc at the market is particularly haunting (almost disturbing really). Both of these young actors portray a passionate love, one that the viewer becomes rapped up in. Add the sympathetic King Marc to the mix, & you've got a love triangle in which you can believe.

    The theme of love vs. loyalty to one's country is the conflict that makes this film so interesting. It's not your typical love story; you can't see where this one is going. On another note, I found the scenery beautiful, and the ending is. . . . well, I won't ruin it, but don't miss this film if you are a fan of period pieces or just a good romance. ...more info
  • What a great movie.
    James Franco is amazing in this movie. This is a great romantic movie and it actually has pretty good action scenes. A great movie in my opinion....more info
  • The First Love Story in the West Outshines Romeo and Juliet
    Tristan and Isolde were the first real lovers of romance and intrigue in Western literary history. While Romeo and Juliet are the most famous romantic tragedy ... Tristan and Isolde outshine it. This movie illustrates how they set the tone of love and drama through literature ever since. Tristan & Isolde (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)...more info
  • Swords And Sweethearts--A Better Than Expected Historical Romance
    I'll admit something up front, my expectations for "Tristan and Isolde" were extremely low. The movie was dropped into theaters with no screening for the mainstream critics, and this usually spells disaster. So, I am surprised to say that "Tristan and Isolde," while far from perfect, has a lot to recommend it. As a historically based Romeo and Juliet type story, we're introduced to two sides of a conflict raging between Britain and Ireland.

    The first half of this movie is certainly its strongest. In it, the political dynamic is well established. When in battle, a young British prince (played by James Franco) is killed--he gets a customary funeral at sea. The pontoon doesn't stay aflame, however, due to rain and the vessel makes it to the Irish shore. Franco, who is actually clinging to life, is rescued by the Irish King's daughter (played by Sophia Myles). The scenes played here, with an innocent tenderness, are effective and well acted. Franco returns to his home without knowing the girl's real identity only to later (unwittingly) win her as his King's bride in a sporting competition.

    The second half of the picture, however, falters a bit. As Myles joins the British as their new Queen, her attraction for Franco is rekindled. What has been a well balanced combination of history, battle and romance now turns itself into a brooding melodrama. With illicit rendezvous' and knowing glances, this becomes an overheated tale of adultery. Franco spends this half of the movie behaving like a moody, spoiled child. Seriously his dialogue all but stops and he pouts for the rest of the movie! There are some nice moments at the conclusion, but unfortunately the film has started to drag before we get there.

    But, overall, I'd recommend "Tristan and Isolde." I really enjoyed the first half. I thought the performers were good--it is great to see Rufus Sewell as something other than a villain, for a change. The production values, cinematography, and battle choreography are all noteworthy. A handsome film in all regards--I'd rate this at 3 1/2 stars for losing momentum when it needed it most. I'm rounding up, however, because the film was still a pleasant surprise. KGHarris, 12/06....more info
  • Tristan & Isolde
    I loved this movie. I usually do not see movies more than once and I purchased this movie and have watched in over 4 times. I like this type of movie. I thought the actors are fabulous. Some of them we see now in other series, Henry Cavill was fantastic and we see him now in The Tudors. Sophia Myles now on Moonlighting. Rufus Sewell in the Holiday and John Adams. It is in the spirit of Braveheart and the Knights of the round table "type" movies. It is the love story that actually happened before Romeo & Juliet....more info
  • I LOVED IT!
    When I saw a commercial 4 this movie,I was really excited 2 see it. I watced it 5 times and still love it. I hope my mom will buy the movie soon!I suggest you rent the movie before u decide 2 buy it....more info
  • Surprisingly refreshing and entertaining...
    I remember when `Tristan + Isolde' was released in the theaters. My wife was begging me to take her but all I could see was `James Franco' and that to me was enough warning to stay far away. The other day though, against my will, my wife rented this film and forced me to watch it with her. I was blown away with how much I actually enjoyed this movie. It has just about everything you need in a movie of this nature. It has romance, sensuality, warfare, action and plenty of drama. What I didn't expect but received in spades was gorgeous imagery, from the cinematography to the authentic garments `Tristan + Isolde is, above all else, a feast for the eyes.

    The film follows turmoil between Britain and Ireland. Ireland's king Donnchadh is relentless in his devastation of Britain, so much so that the English lords and barons are attempting to form an alliance in order to rise up against Donnchadh. In the films opening sequence though, the Irish invade the Castle Tantallion and slaughter all but a few English. This act leaves a young Tristan an orphan and Lord Marke a widower. Marke takes Tristan under his wing and grooms him to be a great warrior for Britain. In a harrowing battle sequence all seems lost when Tristan is presumed dead and sent out to sea, receiving a service worthy of a King. Tristan is not dead though and winds up washing onto the Irish shore to be found by Donnchadh's beautiful daughter Isolde. Isolde keeps her find a secret from her father and nurses Tristan back to health. She also happens to keep her identity a secret from Tristan, an act that proves to be disastrous, especially when love begins to blossom.

    Tristan returns home to his people and quickly offers his services in a tournament being held by Donnchadh where the barons of Britain will battle one another for the King's daughters hand in marriage. The winner will not only marry the beautiful Isolde but he will also secure a truce between Britain and Ireland (a truce that proves to be more like a ruse). Because of all that Marke has done for Tristan in the past he offers to win Marke a wife, unaware that the wife he will be winning is the one his heart truly desires.

    The film then follows the torrid affair between Tristan and Isolde, a love affair that brings a nation to its knees. To avoid telling you the WHOLE story I'm going to stop here and let you find out the rest on your own.

    The tail of Tristan and Isolde, based off of the 19th century opera written by Richard Wagner, has been told and retold and has cemented itself in pop culture. Sure, the names Tristan and Isolde may not be familiar to us, but the names Romeo and Juliet are, as are Guinevere and Lancelot. It's obvious that many of the `tragic' or `forbidden' love stories that populate theaters today are spawn of this particular love story.

    As far as the acting is concerned, there are a few standouts and a few disappointments. The first standout is the beautiful Sophia Myles (who looks remarkably like a young Kate Winslet to me). Sophia is not a standout in looks alone though for her performance as the lovelorn Isolde is one of the most heartfelt and convincing in the film. Second to her would be Rufus Sewell who plays Lord Marke. He shows a remarkable amount of sincerity and passion, emotions I had not seen in him in his previous performances. My one disappointment was James Franco, and I don't know if I can honestly call it a disappointment since I knew I wasn't going to be fond of his performance. He doesn't have much emotional range and so he comes off stiff and unbelievable as a lover. His action scenes were savage and well done, but when it came to delivering real emotion he failed in my eyes. I wish they had found a young actor who could have handled that side of Tristan, for we know they are out there. I found myself wishing that someone like Ryan Gosling had taken the role.

    That small complaint aside I truly feel that `Tristan + Isolde' is a solid film that delivers magnificently, especially when you walk in expecting nothing. I was astounded at the quality of the film making as well. Nothing looks cheap, as it very well could have. Let's be frank here, no one expected `Tristan + Isolde' to reach any demographic higher than teens so no one was expecting this to take any Oscar type awards. When that is the case often times the budget is low and thus the sets and the costumes and the pure quality of the film is low but in this case the sets are spectacular, the costumes are radiant and the quality of the film is beautiful; truly top notch. So, with that said, I highly recommend this to anyone who loves this type of film. Any fan of period epics with action, romance and drama will surely find much to enjoy within `Tristan + Isolde'....more info
  • Entertaining, if not great
    The story this film tells is different from the one I was familiar with, but putting that aside, i found a lot to enjoy in this film. Chief among its strong points for me was the performance by Rufus Sewell. Yes, Sophia Miles is lovely but I found Sewell's performance and character to be the most compelling in the film. James Franco as Tristan is a little too pouty for my taste and his romance with Miles didn't exactly burn up the screen. I liked the parts with the various British leaders, whom Mark was trying to unify, and the Irish king, who basically viewed them as squabbling children. Overall I thought it was an interesting and well-made film....more info
  • Pretty and Worth Watching
    The film "Tristan and Isolde" combines aspects from the variations of the original folktale to present a story that is appealing at this day in age. The beautiful cinematography (except the annoying letters against the blue screen-- can't read those!) and rich costuming will appeal to any film enthusiast. The romance and plot may appeal most to adolescents, because they are characteristically likely to share the lovers' impulsiveness and passion. But anyone who has ever been in love will appreciate this story. I find it is a film that improves with each viewing....more info
  • it's ok
    I was dead tired last night and needed something easy to relax with, and this movie proved perfect.
    Cast was ok as well as costumes and location production, although it looks like TV production.
    Some things a lil annoying, like brits kill 15 irish and its supposed to be "annihilating of the irish army" - clearly there was no money for mass battle scenes.
    Still overall not the worst movie I've seen....more info
  • Good love story, stronger Committment story
    I really liked the movie, it made me cry. I found the idea that Tristan's honor and committment to Marke was so strong that he was willing to give up his love heart-warming. I don't know if many people these days have that type of loyalty for anything. Loved Marke, Isolde, and Tristan's protrayal, also loved the Handmaiden to Isolde - she really stood out for me as one who is also loyal (and loving)....more info
  • a classic love story
    well, it is like a million other movies...they fall in love. but what seperates it from those other movies is the passion. the actors have chemistry. if you love movies or stories where they fall in love, then this on is for you.

    the only thing to be forewarned about is that it is sad. i cried.

    but i love it....more info
  • Better than you think!
    This is a legend, not historical fact. But especially if you are Irish and English as I am-------and especially if you just plain love historical myth or drama with fantastic cinematography, then this is the movie for you. Sophia Myles (Isolde) is great, and Rufus Sewell as the warlord who seeks to unite England is very convincing. Critics have been hard on this movie because James Franco (Tristan) is not a modern kind of lover----------but what do you want out of a warrior coming out of the Dark Ages who has seen his whole family butchered. Tristan himself has an appropriate darkness about him, yet he fights with great heart and fits into the movie well, rather than stealing the show so that more teenage girls will go see this movie. This film puts all the pieces together very well. I wish the critics would get some sense and love of history, before they butcher a movie like this. I take it a little personally, because it is precisely this kind of film that I want producers to make more of....more info
  • (3.5 STARS) Romance and Action in the "Dark Ages"; Surprisingly Enjoyable
    Of course, the story in `Tristan + Isolde' sounds very much like `Romeo and Juliet' or perhaps King Arthur and Lancelot, but this film is not made for lecture of the tradition of Western literature, courtly love or whatever you may think of after watching these star-crosses lovers. This film is made for action and romance, and director Kevin Reynolds (who previously did `Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves' and `Count of Monte Cristo') knows the material very well.

    `Tristan + Isolde' spends a bit too much time to get started with younger Tristan (played by Thomas Sangster, naughty boy in `Nanny McPhee'), who is raised by benevolent Lord Marke (Rufus Sewell). One irony given to the story is that England is ruled by Ireland after Roman soldiers left the island, and despite Lord Marke's wisdom and will, it is the kings of England in the war-torn country that are defeated by a single Irish king.

    Against the background of this national strife, Britain's Tristan meets Ireland's Isolde. The way they meet (and fall in love with) each other requires several paragraphs, so let me only say that their love is severely tested when it is decided Isolde should marry someone else. James Franco is surprisingly good as Tristan, and so is Sophia Myles as Isolde, but it must be said that the chemistry between them is not as impressive as that between Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes.

    `Tristan + Isolde' is, I think, more successful as action, which is constantly supplied. Though the film's actions suffer from the lack of originality in several places (with straightforward development of events except the last one), the stunts are impressive. It becomes all the more impressive considering the suggested (but not directly shown) brutality or bone-crunching fighting, and its little amount of the blood seen on the screen.

    Perhaps, though his acting is very good, Lord Marke played by Rufus Sewell should have been more intimidating; or perhaps other supports like Mark Strong, Dexter Fletcher, or Henry Cavill should be given more round characters they are playing. But as entertainment `Tristan + Isolde' is enjoyable with its actions and beautifully shot cinematography. Don't talk about historical accuracy for now, please. The film is made for fun, and they all know what they are doing....more info
  • Tristan revisited
    While this is not a very good movie, the actors are all excellent and charming - it is a great love story....more info
  • A Tale of Two Tribes
    Taking place in medeival times, 'Tristan and Isolde' is a classic tale of war, love, and chivalry. Kevin Reynold's directing propels an epic movie of beautiful battle and love scenes surrounding the forbidden love of Tristan (James Franco), an admirable warrior suitor and Isolde (Sophia Myles), an Irish love acquisition who harbors her tribe's enemy (Tristan) in the midst of her dwelling as his approaching enemy ensues. Having miraculously lived himself, he wins her in a series of battles designed to give Isolde to the best warrior suitor. Under fateful circumstances, Tristan merely ends up winning Isolde to his chief tribesman, Marke (Rufus Sewell). Resourceful filmmaking with old-fashioned elements and winning modern editing, the beauty and splendour of 'Tristan and Isolde' is brought home truly enough. ...more info
  • Just...WOW!
    I love this movie!!!! I absolutely adore it!

    The passion shown between the two lovers is beautiful. Some guys may even like this movie because of the action sequences shown around the Irish plotting. Where the movie was screened was absolutely amazing! After I finished watching the movie the first time, I wanted to move to the Irish coastline! What's nice about the film is that it's not a cheesy love story about a pre-madonna Romeo and Juliet, if I may. Although, it is a LOT like R & J, I would say that Tristan and Isolde is better, in my eyes. There is a fine line between the two.

    If you love chick flicks, love stories, drama, or action...this is a movie for you!

    The acting is beautiful and flowing throughout the movie. The costume designer for the movie knew his or her stuff, too. They didn't just throw them into clothes. It seems like the movie took time to film pending on the Irish weather and costume creation.

    I would give this movie 6 stars if I could!...more info
  • Are these people SERIOUS?
    I never wanted to see this. The trailer did not appeal to me and neither did the storyline, but like many times in the past when things I expected not to like ended up surprising me, I gave it a try. For old times sake and, well, my sister made me...

    First of all, one of the main characters, Tristan, reached the height of development for his character in the very first scene when he was about ten. It is very bad when the greatest amount of personality seen for a character is within the first five minutes and done by a different, much younger actor. I kept expecting Tristan's character to DO something, SAY something, but all he seemed to be good at was standing around brooding and moping, continuously on the verge of tears. They were joking, right? I don't think I have ever seen a dude cry more in any movie. The really terrible thing is that I'm a girl and it bothered me. I think most of my problem was with the actor's portrayal of the character.

    Now, Isolde...I don't know what it was about her, but I also disliked her character. It might not even be the actresses' portrayal but the couplement with Tristan, which I suspect is the case; because when I think about it, she wasn't too bad. I truly felt sad for her when she realized that it wasn't Tristan she would be marrying but the man who had raised him. I completely understand that times back then were different. She doesn't get to choose the guy she really wants to marry, and of course, she marries the other man and is unhappy because Tristan keeps giving her moon eyes...Probably my main reason for absolutely despising this entire movie was that, despite Tristan's lack of character, the man she ended up marrying actually seemed nice. He deserved to be married to someone good, especially after his first wife's death. Also, because he was pretty much a father to Tristan, he deserved better treatment and not what he got: his wife and adopted son traipsing off into the forest for adulterous encounters. I was completely disgusted and was ready for both of their ultimate demise. Of course, Tristan and Isolde both deserved happiness, but I do believe that their actions (although Isolde never really did have much of a choice in life as it was) were stupid.

    I noticed the only time Tristan ever smiled was after both he and Isolde did it, which was absolutely horrific. What did Isolde even like about him??? I know this is supposed to be some epic love story, and I am all for that, but Isolde and Tristan's betrayal of someone who didn't seem bad or evil at all, was what really did it in for me. And I also can't seem to get past the fact that Tristan's character felt wooden and was badly portrayed, but whether by the script or the actor himself, I can't be sure. I've seen the actor in other things and he was okay, but this was just...People can say whatever they like, but I don't think that any love story, based solely on adultery, could possibly be epic, in any way, manner, or form. Frankly, it insults me.

    Putting the characters and their actions aside, I never really was able to become involved in this film. The pace seemed wrong. I just don't think they picked the right actors for the parts, or that the story was done in an interesting way. The only good things I did find in the entire movie were the ocean scenes, the characters Melot and Marke, and the music.

    Overall: Not worth watching; a waste of time. ...more info
  • Wonderful!
    I absolutely LOVED this movie. I had never heard of the story of Tristan & Isolde. I had also never heard of James Franco before I saw this. Sure, I had seen plenty of movies with him in them, but as it turns out, he's such an awesome actor that he becomes the character he's playing & as a result went without being noticed by myself, until now. As a result of this movie, I have become a HUGE James Franco fan :-)...more info
  • Two willows entwined
    When the Romans pulled out of the English isle they left a power gap and a divided land that was ripe for the picking by the ruthless Irish. Growing up in this turmoil is Tristan. Left for dead he is nursed back to health by Isolde. Thy find each other only to be pulled apart by loyalty and duty.

    The story has many parallels to tales of King Arthur and other Celtic tales. It looks like a tad of Seigfreid was to send in also.

    Two outstanding things that make the film first class besides the story and cinematography (filmed in Ireland and Prague, Czech Republic) is the acting of Rufus Sewell and the music by Anne Dudley. People will want the soundtrack.

    ...more info
  • Tristan and Isolde
    This movie purports to have "epic battles, political intrigue and forbidden passion." That sounds like something for everyone, right? Not quite. The epic battles are two dozen men cutting each other to pieces, the political intrigue is a room full men who all want to be king, and the forbidden passion is two people who can't control their hormones despite the many lives that depend on it.

    Right away I was confused by the set-up. Tristan is "killed" in a battle. (I know there wasn't a doctor, but if Isolde knew he was still alive at a slight touch, how did everyone else miss it?) After the battle, the losers are sent back to Ireland and Tristan is floated out to sea on a funeral boat. Somehow, the floating boat makes it to shore first and Isolde nurses him back to health before the Irish return. This is when we are supposed to believe they have fallen in love. This appears to be no more than two or three days. Tristan has been fighting for the unification of these tribes his entire life and a pretty girl makes him think of nothing else. I am very romantic. I love a good love story as much as anyone. This was not a good love story. You will be rolling your eyes one minute and shielding them from gore the next.
    ...more info
  • 5 stars for bucking the trend
    There was no way on God's green earth this film was going to be a great comercial success - not in the UK, and sure as Hell not in the USA. But don't let that put you off. It's quite beautifully filmed, very easy on the eye, and the script, which can get a little embarrassing with these films, is not bad at all.

    Rufus Sewell is good as the sensitive and forgiving warlord, Marke - he should get more roles like this. James Franco is a little underplayed (though still watchable) as Marke's trusted ward, Tristan, and Sophia Myles makes a good, believable Irish princess, Isolde. If I've a criticism, it would be that Bronagh Gallagher, as the faithful Bragnae, could have had a larger part. The Arthurian theme is obvious, though the heartache and infidelity is played out without cynicism. The purists may complain that the essence, et al, is not true - but it never stopped Mel Gibson, did it?

    What I really like about this film - and what I believe ensured it would never make the big leagues - was that it was brave (or naive) enough to buck a certain solid gold maxim - Irish/rest of the world = good/opressed - English/British = bad/opressors. It should get five stars for that alone. I enjoyed it.

    Yours

    Baby Cromwell





    ...more info
  • Slowly paced in parts
    Yet this film was a good rendition of an ageless story of duty -v- love.

    James Franco does a passable job of the hero who is in love with one he is not meant to have

    The downside is some dialogue is a little unclear....more info

 

 
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