Tristan and Isolde

I'm having a lazy Sunday today, and I just watched Tristan + Isolde on HBO on Demand.  It was fantastic!  Quite possibly the best period film that I've seen in a while.  It got abysmal reviews, but I completely disagree with them.  On Rotten Tomatoes, people complain that the lead actors (James Franco, Sophia Myles) underacted their roles.  I found it refreshing to finally see a period film where the actors don't go around yelling all their lines and calling it a "passionate performance."  If you haven't seen this film already, check it out and decide for yourself.

After seeing the movie, I did a wikipedia search, and found out that the story of Tristan and Isolde is the basis for the Arthurian story.  That's probably why I liked it so much.  I love movies based on Arthurian legend, and this is pretty much the same story in a different setting.

Here's some info from Wikipedia about the legend:

clipped from

There are two main traditions of the Tristan legend. The early tradition comprised the romances of two French poets from the second half of the twelfth century, Thomas of Britain and Béroul. Their sources could be traced back to the original, archetypal Celtic romance. Later traditions come from the Prose Tristan (c. 1240), which was markedly different from the earlier tales written by Thomas and Béroul. The Prose Tristan became the official medieval tale of Tristan and Iseult that would provide the background for the writings of Sir Thomas Malory, the English author, who wrote Le Morte d'Arthur (c. 1469).

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2 thoughts on “Tristan and Isolde

  1. I read Tristan and Iseult, (this version) in college. Loved it then, love it now. :)I'm always scared to see movies that I've already read as books tho, because typically they are disappointing at best. So I haven't seen this one yet.

  2. I'm the same way about movies that I've read as books. I've only ever liked one version of Romeo & Juliet (the 1968 Zeffirelli version). I absolutely hated the modernized one with Leo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. I almost left the theater halfway through it. I know a lot of people loved it, but that's why I don't count on the opinions of critics. I really want to read Tristan and Iseult now that I've seen the movie. I'm sure it's much better. They always are. Thanks for the link to the edition you read in college. I think I'll check it out from the library or try and find it on

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