Tristan & Isolde
The ancient legend of the star-crossed lovers, which has inspired artists from Thomas Malory to Richard Wagner, comes to the screen by way of writer Dean Georgaris and director Kevin Reynolds. James Franco plays Tristan, the English knight sent to escort the king’s betrothed to court. Sophia Myles is Isolde, the queen-to-be, and Rufus Sewell is the noble husband they betray. Malory and Wagner can rest easy in their graves; they’ll get no competition here. The stars seem to have little charisma as individuals or chemistry as a couple—I say “seem” because the film’s murky look and unintelligible dialogue make it hard to tell. The production is grimy and listless, without any color to be seen, literal or figurative—not even those little red dots meant to deter piracy. But then, there’s not much danger of that.