The story of forbidden love is akin to catnip for many writers. The question is, can the writer or writers create a story that stands out from the pack?
In the 2006 film, Tristan + Isolde, James Franco plays Tristan, a prince who is second in line to the British throne. Sophia Myles plays Isolde, the princess from an Irish clan who is feuding with the British. Needless to say, this is not a match that would be approved by either side. Isolde marries Marke (Rufus Sewell), but does not forget the man she loves. Will the lovers be able to build a life together or will they be fated to hide their love to survive?
The film is based on the story of a mythical, yet forbidden love between Cornish Knight and an Irish Princess. The problem with this film is that unlike another famous tale of forbidden love (Romeo and Juliet), it does not have same oomph. While it helps that Rufus Sewell’s character is the main reason that the lovers are kept apart, even he cannot save this film.
Do I recommend it? Not really.
For many, when we think of Queen Victoria, we conjure up the image of Victoria in her later years. Still mourning the death of her husband, Victoria is wearing black and looking every inch like the regal Queen we imagine her to be.
On Friday, I had the pleasure of watching the first episode of the new series, Victoria.
Based on the book by Daisy Goodwin (which I am reading now, look for the review either tonight or tomorrow), Victoria wakes up in 1837, a short time after her 18th birthday. Her uncle, the king is dead and she is now Queen. Her first act as Queen is to step out of the tightly controlled life she has lived under her mother, the Duchess Of Kent (Catherine Fleming) and her mother’s adviser, Sir John Conroy (Paul Rhys). Leaning heavily on Lord Melbourne (Rufus Sewell) for advise and support, she develops what appears to be an infatuation.
I have been a fan of Daisy Goodwin’s books for a few years now. When I heard about not only the book, but the series, I became excited. Neither has let me down yet. What Daisy Goodwin has done both on-screen and on the page (she wrote the screenplay), is present an image of Victoria that few today would recognize. In the place of a morally strong older woman is a young girl who feels like any young girl, regardless of her station. She is young, impetuous, has a temper and likes to laugh. The thing that I liked the most that humanizes Victoria is that, to put it simply, she is human. She is young, she makes mistakes, but she also picks herself up and moves forward with her life.
I absolutely recommend it and I look forward to seeing the full series when it airs in the US in January.
Victoria premieres on January 15th, 2017, at 9pm on PBS.
Forbidden love is a tale that is as old as time.
In the 2006 film, The Illusionist, Eisenheim, nee Eduard Abramovich (Edward Norton) is a magician with a growing reputation in 19th century Vienna. Duchess Sophie von Teschen (Jessica Biel) is invited onto the stage to participate in an illusion. On the surface, this relationship seems like a magician and a randomly chosen audience member. But it is so much more. 15 years ago, Sophie and Eduard fell in love but class and religious differences kept them apart. After 15 years, the spark of love is as strong as it ever was.
Now there is another obstacle in their way: Sophie’s fiance, Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell). More than a marriage of convenience than of love, Leopold has no problem resorting to less than honorable means when it comes to ensuring that the wedding will take place.
I have mixed feelings about this film. While the screenwriters relied heavily on a standard narrative and characters, they used the magic as an element in the film. The filmmakers also cast Rufus Sewell as the villain. This is not the first time he has played the villain/antagonist.
Do I recommend it? Maybe.