Thursday Movie Picks: The Renaissance (14-17th Century)

Here we go again with the time period theme which I won’t excel at ever! It’s not that I hate these types of themes, it’s just I suck at them, which I guess means I don’t really like period movies in general. But for this one, I still managed to scrape together three recommendations, though it was a close call. Especially since one of the picks is almost forgotten for me and all I can remember is that I think I enjoyed it years ago.

1.THE WITCH, 2015

This being the latest and the best recommendation in this list, and it is definitely the strongest folklore movie I’ve seen. Granted, I haven’t seen many, but I think the closeness to Estonian culture makes The Witch stand out for me. It has that similarity and a vibe that just appeals to my roots.

2.THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK, 1998

I don’t think this is Leonardo DiCaprio’s best work but it’s still rather decent. The movie doesn’t really stand out with anything and I can hardly remember it, but I do remember Jeremy Irons’s performance. Then again, no matter how bad the movie, I’ll always remember Irons’s performance because the man’s voice is like honey to my ears.

3. A KNIGHT’S TALE, 2001

It’s been years since I last saw this movie and even though I really want to revisit it, I’m still an emotional wreck whenever I see Heath Ledger on screen. I don’t know what it is but man, I think I have to get over it by watching a lot of his movies since I pretty much own most of them. I still need to hunt down A Knight’s Tale though, because it’s such a classic in my eyes.. and Heath, my god, he is wonderful in this movie!


 THIS SERIES IS CREATED BY WANDERING THROUGH THE SHELVES

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11 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks: The Renaissance (14-17th Century)”

    1. I remember it vaguely and I really was grasping for a recommendation in this time period by the end of the day, so young Leo it is. 😀

  1. I haven’t seen The Witch but the other two are decent films. A Knight’s Tale balanced its blend of adventure and humor well with Ledger an excellent hero of the story. I’m much more fond of the James Whale directed ’39 version of Man in the Iron Mask with Louis Hayward and Joan Bennett but this one had its moments. Leo was miscast but the rest of the performers played it with enjoyable brio.

    Love this period in history so I’ll watch pretty much anything set during the time which provide quite a well of choices but made narrowing down to three tougher. These three are a little less known so the chance to shine a light on them was welcome.

    The Advocate aka The Hour of the Pig (1993)-Richard Courtois (Colin Firth) a lawyer in 15th century France tired of the chicanery and lawlessness of Paris moves to the small rural town Abbeville along with his clerk Mathieu (Jim Carter) when he’s offered a job as a public defender. This being a period when animals were held accountable for crimes with the same punishments handed out to humans he soon finds himself defending a pig accused of murdering a Jewish boy. Pitted against a determined prosecutor (Donald Pleasance) and Catholic priest (Ian Holm), Richard defends the animal and becomes enamored of its owner, beautiful gypsy Samira (Amina Annabi). Along the way he finds out about the strange goings on behind the doors of the seemingly tame townspeople. The medieval justice system and local superstitions mingle as the case plays out. A strange and quirky film this is based on the journal of an actual barrister of the period.

    Queen Margot (1994)-Dark and dire tale of the 16th century religious battle between the Catholics and the Huguenots for control of France. King Charles IX and his mother the dower queen Catherine de ’Medici (a simply sensational and scary Virna Lisi as a merciless woman whose soul has turned to dust) offer the Princess Margot (Isabelle Adjani-brilliant) to the Protestant King of Navarre in marriage as a political pawn. Trapped and unhappy Margot soon starts an affair with a soldier (Vincent Perez) as her mother orchestrates the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre of thousands of Huguenots as well as murderous intrigues to place her other son on the Navarre throne. Blood splattered revenges and double crosses follow.

    Quentin Durward (1955)-Plush version of Sir Walter Scott’s tale of a Scottish knight, the Quentin of the title (Robert Taylor) sent to France by his cash strapped uncle to propose to a wealthy and titled lady, the fair Isabelle (Kay Kendall) who is at the moment at the castle of King Louis XI (the amusing Robert Morley-owner of the stupidest looking crown in any movie ever). Once arrived there is intrigue aplenty with attacks and sword fights including one where the protagonists dangle from bell tower ropes inside a burning church. Entertaining derring-do was one of the few leads that the luminous Kay Kendall had before leukemia claimed her at 33.

    1. As you could probably tell, I’m not a fan of said period but I like two of the choices I picked, so I think it turned out well. Haven’t seen the Iron Mask version you mention though.

  2. I haven’t seen The Witch but you peak my curiosity since it has roots in Estonian culture and I love anything that brings in some culture from different countries especially Europe. the Iron Mask movie was ok…Leo was the weak link but I love how they combined the Musketeers with the Iron Mask man who did really exist but he was in a velvet Mask. The Heath Ledger flick was not my favourite because I just can’t stand it when they have present day music with something set way back when. I know what you mean about Heath…he was a great actor and I felt horrible when Jimmy Stewart passed away. He did live a long and very good life but he died just 3 days before I got married so, of course, I mentioned him in my speech:)

  3. The Witch is SO GOOD! I think it’s one of the few period movies that are hyper-realistic in their portrayal of the time… or maybe it’s just the language 😉 Also love A Knight’s Tale, it’s so much fun!

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