Flashback Friday- Heath Ledger Triple Feature- Casanova (2005), The Brothers Grimm (2005) & A Knights Tale (2001)

Heath Ledger belongs to an elite group of performers. His drive and talent were obvious from the earliest days of his career. His career was flying high when he passed away in 2008. While he may be gone, his movies and his legacy will live on.

In Casanova (2005) Ledger plays the legendary lover. Francesca (Sienna Miller) is the daughter of a noblewoman who is engaged to a much older man. She is also the writer of a feminist pamphlet, using the pen name of Guardi to protect her identity. Casanova is in love with Francesca, while engaged to another woman. Adding to the list of complications is the church who are all too eager to root out heretics.

I like this movie. The balance of feminism, history, myth and romance makes for a good film.

That same year, Ledger starred with Matt Damon in The Brothers Grimm. Wilhelm Grimm (Ledger) and Jacob Grimm (Matt Damon) are con artists who pretend to have access to potions and spells to keep out dark magic. Then they encounter a village where the magic, the curses and the mythical creatures are real. Now Will and Jacob must use real courage to defeat the curse and free the town.

I like this movie. Fairy tales, myth and special effects that help, not overpower the story,  I couldn’t ask for more in a film.

Four years earlier, Ledger starred in A Knights Tale. William Thatcher (Ledger) is an young squire whose master has recently passed. Seeking glory, William, with the help of his companions takes on the image of a knight.  While he finds the glory, the wealth and the fame, his attempt to pass as a knight might be curtailed by Count Adhemar (Rufus Sewell), who is seething with jealousy as William attracts the attention of Jocelyn (Shannyn Sossamon).

I wouldn’t say that this movie is historically accurate. But it is fun and sometimes, that’s what we want in a movie.

I recommend all three.



Fairy Tales From The Brothers Grimm: A New English Version Book Review

Fairy tales have been part of our lives as far back as we can remember. They were first stories that we were read to as children. The most famous are the stories have been written or edited by the Grimm Brothers.

Compiling 50 of his favorite fairy tales, writer Philip Pullman bring them together into his 2012 anthology, Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version. He combines well known fairy tales such as Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel and Rumpelstiltskin with lesser known fairy tales such as The Girl With No Hands, Godfather Death and The Three Snake Leaves. After the tale is complete, Mr. Pullman includes footnotes in regards to the stories origins, how it has morphed over the years or how some fairy tales have become iconic while others have lost in the shuffle.

I didn’t know what to expect. I knew, like many of us, of some of the more famous fairy tales, but I didn’t know of the lesser known  fairy tales or of the origins of some of the stories. While fairy tales are very simple in terms of story structure and character, they represent hope, hard work and faith that everything will work out in the end.  Sometimes when the chips are down, hope, hard work and faith are what we need to get through whatever we are experiencing.

I recommend this book.


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