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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mists Of Avalon

Let me start this off by saying that I love Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists Of Avalon novel. Sadly when the miniseries came out I did not have cable and therefore missed it. I wanted to rent it not have to buy it without seeing it first. So when I joined Netflix and saw it there I was thrilled to finally be able to get my hands on it. But to quote the great B.B. King "The thrill is gone."

Let's start with the casting, Igraine is supposed to be a girl of nineteen at the start of the novel. However she is played by 42 year old actress, Jane Goodall. Her sister Morgause, 13 years old at the start of the novel is played by 45 year old actress, Joan Allen. Why couldn't they have cast actresses to portray their younger selves like the did with Morgaine and Arthur.

Maybe people might be uncomfortable at the thought of women marrying and bearing children before they were 18 but that's the way it happen. Being in your mid-forties, in that time period meant you were old. Julianna Marguiles was decent casting, you could accept her as the younger and older Morgaine. Anjelica Huston was awesome, no complaints there. Samantha Mathis is a great actress but as Gwenhwyfar she is simply annoying and not worth the movie's emotional investment.

Then we have the things that were omitted from the novel. Morgaine's affair with Accolon and their plot to overthrow Arthur, gone. Morgaine stealing the enchanted scabbard, her getting lost in fairy country, the quest for the Holy Grail, gone, gone, gone. Characters like Elaine and Accolon are so blink and you'll miss it, one wonders why the film wasted time on them at all. Kevin, Niniane, and Nimue never even make an appearance.

The changes to the ending make me want to tear my hair out. Did the scriptwriters even read the book? I understand that sometimes a film based on a book must make changes but this is just ludicrous.

If you loved the book, don't see the movie. If you see the movie, immediately track down the book and read it, trust me it will make you understand this travesty of a film.