Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Sword and the Stone

Author(s): Michael
Location: Oklahoma

“The Sword and The Stone”

Directed by Peter Jackson
Adapted by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson
Score by Howard Shore

Principal Cast:

Freddie Highmore- Wart
Michael Gambon- Merlyn
Viggo Mortensen- Sir Ector
Daniel Radciffe- Kay
Johnny Depp- Robin Hood
Richard Griffiths- Friar Tuck
Cate Blanchett- Morgan Le Fay
Liam Neeson- Uther Pendrago

Tagline: “Every story has a beginning…"

Synopsis: Wart, a boy living in twelfth-century England, is informed by his adoptive father, Sir Ector, that he must begin his education and when he was wandering in the Forest Sauvage, Wart chances upon the cottage of Merlyn, an ancient looking magician who “lives backward” through time and thus possesses the ability to know the future. Merlyn informs Wart that he will become his tutor and accompanies him back to Sir Ector’s Castle of the Forest Sauvage and after reviewing the wizard’s references, Sir Ector hires the old magician and Kay, Wart’s older brother, becomes jealous over Wart’s fortune. Merlyn’s lessons consist of transforming Wart into different kinds of animals and at different times, Wart becomes a hawk, an ant, an owl, a wild goose, and a badger: Each animal reveals to Wart a different way of life, political philosophy, or attitude toward war. Feeling sorry for Kay, Wart asks Merlyn if he can transform his older brother into an animal as well; the magician explains that he cannot however, Merlyn does tell Wart that he and his brother should follow a certain path into the Forest Sauvage, where they will surely find an adventure. The boys do just that and eventually meet Robin Wood, the famous outlaw (often called, “Robin Hood” in error) who explains to the boys that a band of fairies, the Oldest Ones of All led by the witch Morgan Le Fay, have kidnapped his companion, Friar Tuck. The boys agree to help Robin and his men storm the Castle Chariot where the Friar is being held.

Six years pass. Kay prepares for his impending knighthood while Wart continues his education. King Pellinore informs Sir Ector and Kay that Uther Pendragon has died and without an heir. Yet a sword has appeared outside a church in London, running through an anvil and into a stone. The inscription on the sword’s pommel reads, “Whoso Pulleth Out This Sword of the Stone and Anvil, is Rightwise King Born of All England.” A glorious tournament is announced on New Year’s Day to give all able men in England a chance to remove the sword. Kay convinces his father that they should attend, and he agrees, but Wart who is not that happy then enters, upset at Merlyn’s announcement that he will no longer be tutoring him, but Merlyn does assure the boy, however, that they will meet again.
During the tournament, Kay arrives at the fields and realizes he has forgotten his sword; He tells Wart to return to their inn and retrieve it, but when Wart finds the inn locked and nobody there, he looks for a suitable replacement. Wart eventually sees the sword in the stone and after a short struggle Wart removes the sword not realizing the significance of such his action. He returns to the tournament and tells Kay where he found the sword then Kay turns around and lies to Sir Ector and claims that he pulled it from the stone. When they all go back to the stone, however, Kay admits his falsehood and, with his father, falls prostrate before Wart, hailing him as King. Wart confused and embarrassed at the same time bursts into tears. Eventually, Wart overcomes his awkwardness with being king and is given a great party for his coronation. Merlyn reappears and tells the Wart that his biological father was Uther Pendragon and further informs Wart that, in the future, it will be his “glorious doom” to “take up the burden” of his nobility. After telling Wart that he would stay with him for a long time, Merlyn addresses him as King Arthur.

What the press would say:

This film has been just waiting to be made correctly and Peter Jackson has brought justice to the first installment of this great book series. I can’t say enough about how much I took pleasure in this film. I was completely sucked into the story and was rooting for all these characters in different, but yet similar ways. Freddie Highmore gives another phenomenal performance as the Wart, a young boy who is just trying to figure out who he is. Highmore is so good in this role is fun to watch this character develop throughout this story I can’t wait for the future installments. The essence he brings to this role is such a different approach it is breath taking and is pure genius. Ian McKellan once again is born to play the role of Merlyn an aging wizard who tutors Wart. Ian gave such a good performance as Gandalf the wizard in the Lord of the Rings movies and this is better than all combined a truly great job. The supporting cast is great as usual in Jackson films and is sure to get an ensemble SAG nomination. With the writing collaboration that brought you the Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong brings you another fantasy wonder in The Sword and the Stone and this is sure to bring an amazing cult following. The visual effects have set new standards as usually and are nothing less of Jackson perfection and let’s not forget the wonderful costumes that are perfect for the dark ages. Truly remarkable cinema in all respects is sure to be the next big trilogy of movies; Peter Jackson has done it again!

Best Picture
Best Director- Peter Jackson
Best Actor- Freddie Highmore
Best Supt. Actor- Ian McKellan
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Visual Effects
Best Original Score
Best Costume Design
Best Makeup
Best Art Direction

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