Film No less escapist, yet with even more heart, A Knight's Tale is of all things a Medieval Sports Film. Following roughly the same plot of a hundred baseball films, and as predictable, this is still remarkably entertaining stuff -- more so because it get's by without directly referencing other films (the usual crime). Like Rouge, the contemporary soundtrack does not jar -- although a certain David Bowie track does feel a touch old fashioned in one scene (if such a thing could happen). Apart from the fascinating direction and challenging direction (yes I am saying that with a straight face - for once we have someone who's remembered he's making a film not a video - the general lack of close-ups is invigorating), two things really stand out for me. The scenic effects here are stunning - Medieval London looks the part, and I couldn't help but think of Olivier's 'Henry V' which created a very similar effect so many years ago. And what casting. Heath Ledger is a star in the making, filling his part as though written for him. Mark Addy's surf is again in a role written for him (surely a worthy successor to Roy Kanear in such parts). Paul Bettany also looks set for instant stardom, his Chaucer a potent creation. A potential weak link might have been Shannyn Sossamon, but she fulfills the role of the typical Chaucer ideal of beauty well. Rufus Sewell does his usual. Then in the middle of it all is our Laura Fraser, seemingly set for stardom after 'Small Faces', here again in a supporting role. But she's only 24 - she sparkles as usual here and there's plenty of time. The best Javelin tournament film ever...

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