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The Mists of Avalon (2001)

Science Fiction & Fantasy and Television movie directed by Uli Edel

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Wish I Hadn't Bothered

  • Sep 23, 2004
The Mists of Avalon is based on Arthurian legends and a novel by Marion Zimmer Bradely. I generally like Marion Zimmer Bradely's books, so I thought a movie based on a book of hers would be enjoyable. Now I wish I'd spent the time reading the book instead of watching the movie.

While watching the movie, I was left with the impression of grief, jealousy, and basically a lot of hurting people. Those who were manipulated (oh, poor victim me! pity me!) go through the movie setting themselves up to fall again and again. Those who do the manipulations either feel bad they didn't get what they wanted or feel bad about what they did, but still feel justified (despite it all failing). There is no true hope offered in this movie and only cold comfort if any. I don't watch movies to get depressed, but this one sure tried!

Also, while the movie obviously wanted watchers to think that paganism and Catholic Christianity are basically the same, you'll note that the sister who became a nun found forgiveness, but the others never stopped hurting until the day they died.

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More The Mists of Avalon (2001) reviews
review by . September 08, 2004
If I hadn't read Marion Zimmer Bradely's "Mists of Avalon" upon which this mini-series was based, I sincerely would have liked this 4 hour presentation. But having read and thoroughly enjoyed the novel, I can only say that there is no way that 4 hours could have every successfully relayed all the nuance of Ms Bradley's genius. If you have read the book, you will find the film lacking even though many of the actors do a fine job. Julianna Margulies portrays Morgaine adequately, while Joan Allen as …
review by . December 11, 2001
This is a great movie and an awesome story. The acting of Julianna Marguiles is absolutely wonderful. The character portrayal was magnificent and each actor delivered a great performance. The story told by the woman's (Morgaine) side mekes the story magical and enchanting. The romance, the war, the secrets are all present in this movie. It is one of the best movies I have ever seen.
About the reviewer
Debbie White ()
I review books, do organic gardening (vegetables, fruit trees, etc.), mentor a young lady, and work with inmates at the local jail and state prison units. I live in a passive solar house (with an active … more
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About this movie


This adaptation of Marion Zimmer Bradley's sprawling and perennially popular book, whose retelling of the Arthurian legends focused on the role of powerful females, compresses a wealth of mysticism, family intrigue, and bloody swordplay into three hours. While the plot can meander slowly and can sometimes seem, well, mystifying, the work of three notable actresses holds the production together, and the numerous complications do eventually get resolved. As Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, Anjelica Huston endeavors to perpetuate the old religion as pagan Britain comes into contact with Christianity. The scheming Morgause, played to evil perfection by Joan Allen, conspires to her own ends. And Avalon priestess Morgaine, played by Julianna Margulies, travels the heroine's journey, overcoming tragedies, injustice, and all manner of obstacles in her duty to both "the goddess" and her younger brother, King Arthur. Although the action lags at times, the production is quite lavish for a made-for-television feature and the film is ultimately entertaining.--Robert J. McNamara
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Director: Uli Edel
DVD Release Date: December 11, 2001
Runtime: 183 minutes
Studio: Turner Home Ent
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