Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and five others received their first-ever acting nominations for 2017. While these actors are new to the Academy Awards, you may recognize them from their earlier work.
Epic tale of the mighty and powerful causing widespread suffering....
This is one of the few films that can stand beside Samuel Bronston's El Cid in dealing with the history of medieval Spain. It has the realistic ambiance of the period because the settings are real period castles, not sets on a sound stage. The plot is loosely based on history, with it's main fault being that it casts Pedro the Cruel ( Mark Damon) as altogether too romantic and much more sympathetic than the vicious lout he apparently was in reality. Likewise, the bastard usurper brother Enrique de Trastamare (convincingly played by Paolo Gozlino) is made out to be much more of a heel than he actually was. He certainly would have been the better ruler since he had better judgment and more self control. Nevertheless, it's a fast moving blood and thunder tale well rendered and at least rooted in fact, and has a good feel for the period. It's interesting to have a look at somewhere else in medieval Europe besides England and France for a change. After all, Spain, Portugal, and the Italian states and some other principalities were big players at that time, too.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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