By Carter B. Horsley
Ridley Scott's 2010 epic, "Robin Hood," is flawed
but it flounts its virtuosity vigorously and is a startlingly glorious
film to watch, especially the mind-bogglingly beautiful painted
animated titles at the end.
Its two main stars,
Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, are sly and full of surprises and
marvelous. Crowe, who starred in Scott's "Gladiator," is surly
and smelly as Robin. Blanchett is a sexy, foxy chick as Lady
Marian and is easily more than a fair match for Robin. Indeed,
her character seems to have come from the Bette Davis "All About Eve"
rough night mold with a pinch of Katherine Hepburn's "Adam and
Eve" insouciance and Barbara Stanwyck's "Double Indemnity" toughness.
is a lot going on here to confound movie-goers weened on the deering-do
of Errol Flynn in the 1939 version of "Robin Hood." This film is
that movie's "prequel," in that it tells the tale of how Robin Hood
became an "outlaw" in Sherwood Forest and a very complex tale it is.
film, which opened the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, must be seen on a big
movie theater screen for the detail of its razor sharp resolution is
fantastic and has the wondrous effect of very good pseudo-3D in many
scenes. There are two big scenes that are stupendously exciting and
visually spectacular, an attack on a very large castle and the French
invasion of a long beach with very high white cliffs. The
cinematography is superb. One crepuscular landscape scene in
particular is gray silver and its tonalism is worthy of a painting by
Edward Steichen. At the same time, it should be noted, the
cinematography examines every pore on Blanchett's face in total
contempt for rosy-fingered, gauze-filtered yesterdays of Hollywood's