Tristan and Isolde 2006

Before there was Romeo and Juliet, there was Tristan and Isolde.

One of the great stories of doomed love is given a new screen interpretation in this historical drama. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, King Donnchadh (David O’Hara) of Ireland has become the de facto ruler of England, but one of his underlings, Lord Marke (Rufus Sewell), dreams of uniting Tristen and Isolde insertBritish forces with an eye toward self-rule. One of Marke’s most valuable allies is Tristan (James Franco), Marke’s protégé, who has become a brave warrior since he was rescued by the lord after his parents were murdered by Irish forces during a battle. While Marke and Tristan dream of banishing Ireland’s presence in England, Tristan has a secret he’s been hiding from Marke — after suffering serious wounds during a hard-fought battle, he was rescued and nursed back to health by Isolde (Sophia Myles), King Donnchadh’s daughter, and the two fell deeply in love. But the couple were separated after Tristan returned to England, and when Donnchadh attempts to quell the British uprising by staging a tournament among the nation’s greatest warriors, an extreme and rather personal surprise is in store for Tristan. Tristan & Isolde was directed by Kevin Reynolds and produced in part by Ridley Scott.

Admin note:  There is a fight scene between James Franco and Mark Strong, without stuntmen, in this film. Although, James Franco broke something in his knee and was out for 3 months, I think it’s the best choreographed fight scene ever!!

 

 

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Tristan and Isolde 2006 poster

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The Illusionist 2006

The Illusionist (2006)

circa 1889

 

A supernaturally talented magician attempts to undermine the rigid social structure of turn-of-the-century Vienna by using his powers to win the love of his upper-class, childhood sweetheart in director Neil Burger’s cinematic adaptation of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Steven Millhauser’s short story. Though the ill-fated childhood romance between cabinetmaker’s son Eisenheim (Edward Norton) and upper-class Sophie von Teschen (Jessica Biel) eventually resulted in the heartbroken young man leaving Austria to explore the world, his dreams of one day reuniting with the beautiful duchess never faded. Upon returning to Vienna 15 years later as a talented and renowned illusionist, Eisenheim’s hopes of a reunion seem dashed when he learns that Sophie is currently engaged to the Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell). As the tensions between the Eisenheim and Leopold elevate, urbane Chief Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti) finds his sympathy toward Eisenheim growing, despite his formal obligations to the powerful prince.