As I was writing up the latest Robin Hood casting news, it occurred to me that Ridley Scott's film will undoubtedly play fast and loose with the Plantagenets. (A historical film that alters the facts? No!) I decided I didn't care -- for now, anyway.

When it comes to historical films, I'm maddeningly hot and cold. There are films I forgive even the most glaring errors because the story (real and cinematically whitewashed) is good, or because it spurred me into research I never recovered from. Braveheart and 300 both fall into that category, as does Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra.

Then there are films that leave me furious, such as Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth, which is just so inaccurate as to be bizarre. Actually, films dealing with the Tudors in general tend to infuriate me (I'm looking at you, The Other Boleyn Girl), possibly because it's so well documented and because the real story is far more interesting than any soapy fiction they throw in. But even here I'm not to be trusted -- Kapur's Elizabeth: The Golden Age is full of fiction and clunky symbolism, but it's the very definition of "guilty pleasure" for me because of the ruffs, the Armada, and oh-my-God-Clive-Owen-in-a-doublet. The same goes for Showtime's The Tudors, which has really impressed me by continuing past poor Anne Boleyn, and into Henry's really terrifying years.
categories Cinematical