Assuming all has gone well, by the time you read this I’ll have handed in my book and be cruising the Douro River in Portugal with my nearest and dearest. And surely picking up a better sense of the countryside that was the setting for part of the Peninsular Wars. (Once a Regency writer, always a Regency writer….)
Because I’ve also been trying to finish a book, plus having computer problems, I’m going to keep this short and fluffy, or at least fluffy: I’m going to talk about movies we like even though we feel we probably shouldn’t.
Tops on my list is FIRST KNIGHT, an Arthurian fantasy that came out several years ago and centered the immortal romantic triangle of Sean Connery as King Arthur, Juliet Ormond as Guinevere, and Richard Gere as Lancelot.
But even though the story was highly stylized, set in a dark age world with strange mechanisms, no Merlin (no Merlin!!!), and a whole lot of peasants wearing bright blue clothing, it worked for me, largely because of the power of the three leads. I’ll watch Sean Connery in anything, and he did a beautiful job as the war weary king who falls in love with the young and lovely Guinevere because he wants peace and love in the last years of his life.
Julia Ormond is a queen in her own right. Though she doesn’t really love King Arthur, she accepts his proposal in return for protection for her small country of Lyonesse. Besides being beautiful, she has a wonderful warmth that makes it clear why men fall in love with her. It’s also believable that she can love two very different men in different ways.
Most of all, I loved Richard Gere as Lancelot. In most versions of the Arthurian legends, Woman is Evil and responsible for the sinning of strong, noble men. The traditional Lancelot is the most honorable of knights who betrays his king and best friend because of his lustful love for the queen. ‘Twas the woman who made him do it.
But in this case, love is not the sin but the redemption. A cynical and emotionally wounded man, Gere’s Lancelot is transformed by his love for a great man, Arthur, the idealism of the Round Table, and the love of a good woman. This is a story of redemption, not fall, and the ending is remarkably satisfying for a story that is often rendered as a tragedy.
So what movies do you love that you feel a little embarrassed to admit to? I look forward to reading the answers when I’m back from vacation!