Tristan + Isolde
I really felt like titling this movie review "Fratboy and Isolde." Yes, I think the lead actor James Franco seems like a huge fratboy. Although during the entire film Franco (cast as Tristan) was sincerely trying to portray the earnest innocence of his character, I kept expecting to see him stuffing freshmen into lockers and make people kiss his pledge ring or whatever.
Tristan + Isolde is based on an opera by Richard Wagner which was in turn based on real life people "Tristan and Iseult" who lived in the Middle Ages. Its basically a Romeo and Juliet story with the overarching conflict being between the Irish and British.
Well, I was expecting to really hate this film; however, I have to say Tristan + Isolde is not that bad. I was fearing I was either going to be treated to quite the extreme history lesson or that insipid romantic banter would run through this whole film. However, the story was decent and the cinematography in the film was very well done.
The storyline flowed well, the history was clearly explained
(but not overdone) and the love story was believable enough (but not sappy.) I am actually surprised to be recommending this film. Tristan + Isolde does an excellent job of transporting the viewer to antiquity, but not making it ever seem inaccessible or boring. But I still cannot find myself giving it over a B- grade, partially because of that whole fratboy thing.
Acting: B- (Franco just screams atomic wedgie)