Tristan and Isolde (2006) short review


Oh, the let down. The story of the doomed love of Tristan and Isolde. He’s English, she’s Irish, they’re enchanted to fall in love with each other and it ends badly. Except this film is trying for the “gritty realistic” approach of King Arthur and takes away the magic. Sophia Myles is, as always, fabulous as Isolde. Rufus Sewell is quite good (and still hot) as Lord Marke. The usually cute James Franco is miscast as Tristan (his main method of emoting seems to be furrowing his brow and speaking like he has new veneers on his teeth). And, sadly, the script gets pretty trite. That combined with Mr. Franco made it all feel very high school. I know nothing about costumes from this period, so all I can say that they were very pretty (for mostly being nubby linen/wool type numbers).

2006-Tristan-and-Isolde 2006 Tristan + Isolde tumblr_mw26n0JQjq1t05g9vo1_500


About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

3 Responses

  1. Samantha

    The wedding gown used in Tristan & Isolde is the same gown used in Arabian Nights (2000) by Scheherezade.

  2. Roxana

    What sane woman would choose that baby faced Franco-Tristan over Rufus Sewell’s Mark?
    Nobody really knows much about what they were wearing in 5th, 6th c. Britain except it probably was wooly, layered and fairly shapeless.

  3. Lily Lotus Rose

    I LOVED this movie when it came out. I thought James Franco was so beautiful. And it was the first movie in which I registered that Rufus Sewell was, in fact, good-looking! Anne Dudley’s musical score is very moody and atmospheric. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve seen it. This post makes me want to re-watch and re-evaluate.