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A Knight's Tale (2001)

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8/10: A poor boy aims to...
Thursday, May 11, 2017

A poor boy aims to become a knight In fourteenth century Europe having the right ancestry means everything and William Thatcher does not have it. He is the peasant squire to a knight but when his master dies he sees an opportunity. He takes his place in a joust and with the prize money sets about passing as a nobleman. With his friends Roland and Wat he trains then sets off to the next tournament. Along the way they meet the writer Geoffrey Chaucer who helps them by creating a false lineage for a nobleman from an obscure place. William performs well and catches the eye of Jocelyn, a noblewoman, he isn't the only one interested in her though; the brutish Count Adhemar sees her as a prize. Soon Adhemar is sent away to war and William continues to win tournaments; the two things he really wants though are Jocelyn's love and to put Adhemar on his back...

3/10: A Tale Told By the...
Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Tale Told By the Screenwriter. A Knight's Tale (2001): Dir: Brian Helgeland / Cast: Heath Ledger, Rufus Sewell, Mark Addy, Paul Bettany, Shannyn Sossamon: Good natured yet light weight comedy set in the early century of knights. Title humorously refers to a knight telling a very large tale. Heath Ledger stars as a civilian who wants to be a knight but he is a nobleman, which apparently complicates things. This doesn't discourage him from training. He makes a name for himself in the tournaments but nobody knows who he is, plus there is another knight whose ambition is to expose him. He wishes to impress the Princess but first he must dispose of another knight whose ambition is, again, to expose him and use her as a trophy. Well directed by Brian Helgeland who previously made the action thriller Payback. with repetitious storytelling and an ending that has no real flair. The knights singing a song by Queen...

8/10: A hoot from start to...
Sunday, September 23, 2012

A hoot from start to finish When Sir Ector thoughtlessly dies before competing in a money-making jousting tournament, his squire William takes his place and turns out to be quite good at it. Unfortunately, his lack of noble birth means that he is playing a dangerous game: fortunately, a chance encounter with down-on-his luck Geoffrey Chaucer brings him a penman who can provide well-forged credentials. Accompanied by fellow squires Roland and Wat, William (now known as Sir Ulric) embarks on a career and love life, while making friends and enemies along the way.The minute the audience at the joust start clapping along with We Will Rock You, it becomes clear that A Knight's Tale is minded to cheerfully disregard any suggestion that it should be historically accurate. Indeed, it goes out of its way to pepper itself with anachronistic gags, both verbal and visual.Heath Ledger, doing an excellent English accent, delights as William...

7/10: Surprisingly entertaining While there are...
Saturday, March 27, 2010

Surprisingly entertaining While there are some cheesy parts in the script and Shannyn Sossamon while beautiful with a magical smile not quite convincing as the fickle love interest, there is a lot to enjoy. There is constant wit and energy, and the soundtrack is marvellous. The opening scene with We Will Rock You brought the house down when I watched it with my family, and that scene was one of the more exhilarating moments in the film. The dialogue is modern, but there are some flashes of authenticity. One of two of them come across as cheesy but others work surprisingly well. There is a lot going on in the story, sometimes this can be a problem, with the length the film is at nearly two and a quarter hours, my feelings were mixed here. The side story about William's blind father was touching, but for my liking there were too many jousting matches. I will say the acting...

6/10: Love conquers all.... Helped along...
Saturday, March 28, 2020

Love conquers all.... Helped along by a cleverly selected soundtrack; the is a fun historical jousting romp with a good cast who are clearly enjoying themselves. Heath Ledger is the squire to an ageing, rather dilapidated knight "Sir Ector". When he shakes off his mortal coil; Ledger unlawfully becomes "Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein" and embarks on a series of chivalric tournaments alongside his trusty stalwarts "Roland" (Mark Addy); Wat (Alan Tudyk) and Paul Bettany as his forger/latter day diarist Geoffrey Chaucer. At one such event he glimpses the beautiful "Jocelyn" (Shannyn Sossamon) and is love struck! Determined to win her for himself, he takes risks including annoying the cock of the flock "Count Adhemar" (Rufus Sewell) who is his principal challenger for the affections of his fair maid. It is a cheeky, fun little adventure story with amiable performances all round.

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