Based on the bestseller by Marion Zimmer Bradley It tells the story of the women behind King Arthur; including his mother, Igraine; his half-sister, Morgaine; his aunt Viviane, the Lady of ...
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Based on the bestseller by Marion Zimmer Bradley It tells the story of the women behind King Arthur; including his mother, Igraine; his half-sister, Morgaine; his aunt Viviane, the Lady of the Lake; and his wife, Gwenwyfar.Written by
Most movie adaptations of books have their problems (missing characters and storylines). Those problems are abundant here, but The Mists of Avalon compounds all of those by miscasting the characters, adding special effects that look like 6th grade art projects and turning the whole thing into a fantasy/soap opera. In the book, Morgause is 10 years older than Morgaine. Here, Joan Allen (at least 35 years old) plays Morgause, and Morgaine is about 11. Igraine is even older than Morgause, and by the time she conceives Arthur, she must be 40 (even though she conceived Morgaine at 15). Forty-year old mothers were rare in 450 A.D. The book talks about dangers to women in their late twenties. Lancelot looks like a super model with light chain mail on. In the book, he is certainly attractive, but he is also the greatest warrior in the land. The actor playing Lancelot wouldn't (and couldn't) harm a flea. Angelica Huston is particularly bad as a 60-year old Viviane, delivering her lines woodenly, while at the same time coddling Morgaine to a degree that the book does not contemplate. Those who did not read the book won't care about the miscasting (though they may be appalled at Huston's acting), but I'm embarrassed for TNT when I see Viviane "raise the mists" to reveal a papier mache Avalon. Then, the cut back to Viviane and Morgaine on the boat looks like they are sitting on a sound stage with the sort of generic off-blue background you might get sitting for a family portrait at Olan-Mills. They have also added a lot of "sap" to the relationships, but it seemed like they added it to all the wrong ones. There isn't enough sap between Lancelot and Guinevere to match the book, yet Morgaine appears to be everyone's best friend. I was prepared to be disappointed because you can't squeeze 50 characters and 900 pages into a two hour movie, but I expected better casting and special effects, and a lot less hugging.
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