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"TRISTAN & ISOLDE"
(2006) (James Franco, Sophia Myles) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Heavy Extreme Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Heavy None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy None Heavy Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Action: Star-crossed lovers on opposite sides of a Dark Ages war try to keep their love affair secret from everyone.
PLOT:
It's the Dark Ages, and following the fall of the Roman Empire, various divided tribal states battle the rule of a unified Ireland that knows it can't let those states unite. Accordingly, King Donnchadh (DAVID PATRICK O'HARA) sends his forces there to quell any sort of unification. It's during one of those raids that the would-be king, Lord Marke (RUFUS SEWELL), sees most of his comrades die, including the parents of young Tristan who he barely manages to save from the carnage, but loses his own hand in the process. Meanwhile, across the sea, young Isolde is grieving the death of her mother, the Irish Queen. Little do the two kids realize that their fates are now intertwined.

Nine years later, Isolde (SOPHIA MYLES) is an independent young woman who isn't pleased when she learns her father has just promised her to his lead general. Thus, she often spends time along the shore with her maid, Bragnae (BRONAGH GALLAGHER). It's there that they discover Tristan (JAMES FRANCO) who's washed up on the shore after being set adrift in a floating funeral pyre following his presumed death in a battle where he killed Isolde's betrothed.

Against her maid's warnings, Isolde nurses Tristan back to health and eventually becomes his lover. Yet, she must help him escape when her father learns that he's in their country and is responsible for his top general's death. Time passes, and with Donnchadh still desirous of causing unrest in England, he sets up a contest where the best fighters from the various independent states will battle for the right to win Isolde. Tristan ends up winning, but then learns that his secret lover is to be given to Marke. Following his marriage to Isolde, she and Tristan continue their affair, blind to what their secret relationship might do to them and their two countries.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into period action flicks and/or romantic dramas they might, which could also hold true for anyone who's a fan of someone in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For intense battle sequences and some sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JAMES FRANCO plays an English knight who battles the Irish except for Isolde with whom he carries on a secret affair despite her eventually being married to Marke, his surrogate father figure, friend, and leader.
  • SOPHIA MYLES plays the Irish king's independent daughter who isn't pleased with the way he offers her to men not of her choosing. She then has an affair with Tristan, even following her forced marriage to Marke.
  • RUFUS SEWELL plays the English leader who battles the Irish, serves as Tristan's surrogate father figure and mentor, and marries Isolde in an arranged match where he hopes to please her.
  • DAVID PATRICK O'HARA plays the Irish king who will do anything to prevent the British states from uniting, including giving up his daughter to the enemy in marriage as one such ploy.
  • BRONAGH GALLAGHER plays Isolde's maid who tries to warn her about her affair with Tristan.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this period drama/action film that's been rated PG-13. A brief bit of sexually related dialogue is present as are several partially seen sexual encounters (where strategically placed items -- arms, hair -- block full views of bare breasts), some of which involve a married woman carrying on an affair with her secret lover. In a nonsexual scene when they first meet, she and another woman strip to let their body heat warm him when he's washed ashore, but beyond fleeting, partial glimpses of nudity, nothing explicit is seen.

    Violence consists of various fight and battle scenes that leave many people wounded or dead. A man loses his hand during one such incident, while some beheadings take place (mostly off camera, although we see a severed head being carried). Other bloody and/or gory results are present, but not quite as much as might be expected for the amount of violence (all to keep the PG-13 rating). Those scenes and a few other moments might be unsettling or suspenseful for some viewers, while some of the fighting and other action might be enticing for some kids to imitate.

    In addition to the aforementioned affair, other bad attitudes are present, as are tense family moments (including those featuring children who've lost one or both parents) and some brief drinking. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, some of the battle scenes contain camera movement that might induce that.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Miscellaneous people have what are presumably drinks, with Marke then raising a toast.
  • Isolde and others drink.
  • Miscellaneous people drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • During and then following an attack, young Tristan has others' blood on his hand and face.
  • We briefly see when Marke's hand is sliced off by an assailant and see the bloody results and then a bit more moments later.
  • Donnchadh's general has blood on his face following an attack.
  • A victim of a battle has blood on his skin and clothing.
  • Tristan has some bloody scrapes on his body following a battle and from washing up on the shore. We later see a large but dried wound across his chest.
  • Tristan has a little blood from his nose and other bloody scrapes during and following a contest-based battle.
  • Marke's nephew has some blood from his mouth and nose during a battle.
  • During the battle, Tristan fights his traitorous rival, with that man driving a sword into Tristan (with bloody results) and Tristan then stabbing into him (with bloody results and a "gushy" sound) before slicing off his head. We don't see that actual latter act, but do see him holding the severed head (we only see the hair - no facial features) then and later when he throws it into the moat.
  • We see blood running down Tristan's boot from being wounded above that.
  • Marke and others have varying amounts of blood on them during a battle.
  • The camera follows a bloody trail to a mortally wounded person.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The Irish and English forces have extreme cases of both toward each other.
  • Young Melot picks on young Tristan who's moping about because his parents are now dead (Melot says his father just died as well, but he's not acting like Tristan is).
  • Isolde lies to Tristan about her identity (to protect both of them).
  • In an effort to try to undermine the British alliance, Isolde's father (the king) decides to give her away to the best English warrior in a contest he runs.
  • Although they're supposed to be faking it or at least going easy on their own people in a contest to win Isolde, one of the English leaders does neither.
  • Awaiting his bride-to-be's arrival (and having never seen her), Marke wonders aloud, "What if she's a hag?" He then spots Bragnae get out of the coach and looks concerned, but that changes when he sees Isolde and realizes she's the one.
  • Despite her being married to Marke, and him being his friend, surrogate son and second in command, Isolde and Tristan carry on a secret affair.
  • Tristan's rival sees him and Isolde together and then plots to ruin Tristan with his knowledge of that affair (that includes telling her father, the Irish king).
  • English traitors join forces with approaching Irish forces.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • When his comrades think Tristan died in battle (due to poison leaving him in a death-like state), he's set afloat on a funeral pyre that's then ignited by flaming arrows fired into it (somehow, however, he doesn't burn up).
  • Aware that her father and his general are now looking for Tristan, Isolde rushes to help him escape before they get there.
  • Tristan's rival leads Marke, Isolde's father and others into the woods where he knows they're going to find Tristan and Isolde together.
  • Marke is upset with Isolde after learning she's been having an affair with Tristan (and it looks like he might become violent with her, but he doesn't).
  • A major character dies from wounds sustained in a battle (that could be upsetting to some viewers).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Swords/Knives/Arrows/Battle Axes/Large mallets (or something similar): Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You'll have hell to pay," "What if she's a hag?" and "Like a whore."
  • The fighting, sparring and other such physical behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • Marke's nephew spits on Tristan when he learns of his affair with Isolde.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful and dramatic music plays in various scenes during the movie.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 hell.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Donnchadh's second in command (who's just been promised Isolde as his wife to be) tells her that a certain substance only makes a hard man harder and says the only cure is wild abandon.
  • Isolde shows some cleavage.
  • After finding the shirtless Tristan wounded and washed up on the shore, Isolde decides she and Bragnae need to warm him up with their bodies (for safety and not sexual reasons). Isolde then strips down first (we see her bare back and then a possible, very brief view of her bare breasts as she squats down and then snuggles up with him. She then tells Bragnae to do the same, with the latter stating that she hasn't been naked with a man for 15 years. We see both of them up against him (not a full shot), but don't see any explicit nudity.
  • We see Tristan shirtless in the sea as well as in a small cave-like structure where Isolde is hiding him.
  • Bragnae catches Isolde somewhat sensually rubbing some sort of ointment on Tristan's chest wound (he's shirtless and Isolde pulls her hand back when she realizes Bragnae has seen her).
  • Tristan and Isolde do some passionate kissing on the beach and then back in the small, cave-like structure where she's hiding him. We see him on top of her, and then see alternating head and shoulders shots of both on top (with subdued movement when she's on top, suggesting sex).
  • After they're married, we see Marke kissing on Isolde, with her hand and arm over her bare breast, thus blocking our view of the full shot. We then see several shots of him on top of her (and see partial views of her bare breasts, but no nipple view).
  • From a distance, we see a shirtless Tristan on top of Isolde, having sex (but no other nudity in that view). We then see a head and shoulders shot where they're nude, but we don't see anything explicit.
  • After having sex, Isolde asks Tristan how many (women) he loved (possibly meaning sex) before her (he says none) and how many will be after her (he again says none).
  • Isolde and Tristan passionately kiss and she lies back, with her long hair covering her bare breasts, but we then see that it's Marke who's getting on top of her (in a head and shoulders shot that shows some movement). We then see Isolde and Tristan post-sex in the woods, with him shirtless and her sitting (facing away from the camera) holding some sort of material up to her chest (we see her bare back that's facing the camera).
  • Isolde's father is upset when he sees that she and Tristan are having an affair. He then tells Marke that he sees that he passes her among his lieutenants "like a whore."
  • We see a brief flashback to a passionate kiss between Isolde and Tristan.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Young Tristan sees his family be killed during an attack, Lord Marke loses his family in the same, and his young nephew later reports on having just lost his father.
  • We see that Isolde's mother, the Irish queen, has died. We briefly see the body before and then on a funeral pyre that's set on fire (but we don't see the body burning).
  • Tristan learns that her father the king has promised her to his second in command who's desirous of a wife (and she's not happy about this).
  • Thinking Tristan is dead, Marke wonders aloud if he loved him like a son or whether he misused him for his own purposes.
  • In an effort to try to undermine the British alliance, Isolde's father (the king) decides to give her away to the best English warrior in a contest he runs (she's not happy about this).
  • Marke thinks Isolde has a secret lover, and tells this to Tristan, not realizing he's the man.
  • Marke is upset with Isolde after learning she's been having an affair with Tristan (and it looks like he might become violent with her, but he doesn't).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The Dark Ages.
  • Star-crossed lovers.
  • Affairs.
  • Losing parents to illness or violence.
  • The legend that inspired this story.
  • The long-standing strife between Ireland and England.
  • Tristan learns that her father the king has promised her to his second in command who's desirous of a wife (and she's not happy about this). He later promises her as the grand prize of a battle contest he sponsors.
  • Funeral pyres.
  • Isolde says she believes there's something more to life than just duty and death.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Young Tristan makes his first kill while hunting (we don't see the impact), but do see him carrying the dead rabbit.
  • A man grabs a person and stabs him in the dark (we don't see the actual impact) as the Irish attack an English tribe. Parts of the village are on fire as people are hit with arrows and sliced with swords. As the Irish arrive at the headquarters, Tristan goes to join in the defense, but his father grabs and puts him into a trap door in the floor. While down below, Tristan's parents and most of the rest are killed, and Tristan has others' blood on his hand. After the attack, he sees his dead father (we see him) and mother (we see just her hand). An assailant then charges at young Tristan, but Marke pushes the boy out of the way, getting his own hand cut off in the process. He then stabs and kills that assailant.
  • Marke and young Tristan arrive at another village that's been attacked (we don't see the violence, but do see the results of it).
  • Young Melot picks on young Tristan who's moping about because his parents are now dead. Melot then pushes Tristan, who eventually has enough and fights back with a fake, wood sword, hitting him and two others.
  • Some Irish men manhandle English villagers.
  • We see Irish men hang one of Tristan's friends (we don't see the actual act, but do see the man's feet hanging and then a long shot of the dead body hanging from the rope).
  • As part of a trap, two English men fire arrows at an Irish caravan and then take off running, with Irish men on horseback in hot pursuit. Arrows are fired at the two fleeing men until they lead the others into the ambush where English men pop up, fire arrows into the Irish, and slice and stab others with swords (no bloody impact). The small battle then returns to the caravan where Tristan kicks a man in the face and stabs several enemies, while Donnchadh's general breaks one person's neck and then proceeds to try to stab prisoners inside a caged wagon. Tristan then races to stop him, injuring or killing enemies along the way as a comrade fires an arrow into the general before being attacked by others. Tristan and the general then battle (while other fighting continues around them), with some brutal hitting and Tristan avoiding some close calls with serious injury or death. Tristan eventually stabs and slices the general, killing him, but not before being sliced across the torso with a poison-laced sword that eventually leaves Tristan in a death-like state.
  • An Englishman leader apparently beheads one or more prisoners, but we don't see the actual impact or aftermath.
  • Swords and large mallets (or something similar) are used by contestants to battle each other in a contest to win Isolde.
  • Although they're supposed to be faking it or at least going easy on their own people in a contest to win Isolde, one of the English leaders does neither. Instead, he slices on opponent on the leg and then knocks him unconscious with his sword handle. He then hits or kicks another in the crotch and then eventually battles Tristan, with both hitting and slicing each other until Tristan finally gets the upper hand and holds his blade to that man's throat, causing him to surrender.
  • Tristan hits an opponent quite hard during the above battle contest.
  • Two men are killed in an ambush (no impact).
  • As Irish forces and English traitors attack the English stronghold, we see various characters hit with arrows, as fires are set around the castle and the attacking forces try to pull down the castle's main gate/moat bridge. More large-scale fighting then breaks out, with various people being wounded or killed (we also see an arrow hit someone in the neck, but there's no blood in the brief shot, and Marke fires an arrow into an attacker).
  • During the battle, Tristan fights his traitorous rival, with that man driving a sword into Tristan (with bloody results) and Tristan then stabbing into him (with bloody results and a "gushy" sound) before slicing off his head. We don't see that actual latter act, but do see him holding the severed head (we only see the hair - no facial features) then and later when he throws it into the moat.
  • Donnchadh kicks one man, but is then hit by an arrow, as another battle breaks out with Donnchadh slicing various people.



  • Reviewed January 5, 2006 / Posted January 13, 2006

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