Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB
USA, 1995. Icon Entertainment International, The Ladd Company, B.H. Finance C.V., Icon Productions. Screenplay by Randall Wallace. Cinematography by John Toll. Produced by Bruce Davey, Mel Gibson, Alan Ladd Jr.. Music by James Horner. Production Design by Thomas E. Sanders. Costume Design by Charles Knode. Film Editing by Steven Rosenblum.
Mel Gibson stars in and directs this adventurous tale about real-life Scottish hero William Wallace, a 13th century Scotsman who, following the loss of his beloved wife (Catherine McCormack), decides that the evils being done to his people by England’s Edward I are no longer to be taken lying down, and so leads his countrymen in many successful battles against their oppressors.
Sophie Marceau couldn’t be better as the second love of Wallace’s life, Edward II’s wife Queen Isabella, brought from France to be thrust into a loveless marriage with a mincing gay prince (Gibson loses points for a homophobic character whose sexuality keeps him from being able to function as a royal).
Graphically violent, this is no film for the faint of heart, but is rich in character and beautiful photography, more an event than just a film, and a surprisingly memorable one at that considering that Randall Wallace’s screenplay plays fast and loose with historical accuracy.
Production elements are all top-notch, especially the costumes by Charles Knode.
Academy Awards: Best Picture; Best Director (Mel Gibson); Best Cinematography; Best Makeup; Best Sound Effects Editing
Nominations: Best Original Screenplay; Best Costume Design; Best Film Editing; Best Sound; Best Original Score-Drama
Golden Globe Awards: Best Director (Mel Gibson)
Nominations: Best Picture-Drama; Best Screenplay; Best Original Score