Edward II - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Edward II Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 23, 2008
Yeah...not one of my favourites.
Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2009
I hate that when there are no critics reviews listed, that Flixster just gives it a critical rating of 100%. How annoying! Basically, this movie is a mess that is probably better on stage but a mess moviewise.
March 3, 2007
This is a very strange movie (mostly for art direction reasons). Anyway, it did make me want to learn more about Edward II. I don't know if I can reccomend this, but Tilda Swinton looks beautiful in every one of her scenes. Umm...Yeah...
½ August 17, 2015
Utilizing a relatively straightforward plot to comment on the systemic reaches of homophobia while dropping references to various aspects of gay existence, Jarman elevates what could've been a rote, stuffy period piece through gorgeous visuals and daring staging. Sure, Edward II mostly operates as a progressive rallying cry for gay acceptance, but it's also very much a compelling, historical/contemporary aristocratic drama who's slightly campy tone and attention to detail (the clothing specifically; Swinton's collection of designer outfits is unreal) make it legitimately fun to watch.
May 22, 2015
Derek Jarman's finest hour is also one of the seminal Queer Film Theory films of its era.
August 31, 2014
Bizarre. Not really bad, but also not easy to watch.
½ December 13, 2013
A stunning, visually innovative adaptation of the Marlowe play, now looking slightly dated in its early '90s post-modern pastiche of styles and stark sets. While the film is a rousing indictment of the Thatcher government's anti-gay agenda, it is also a fairly neat disembowelment of Marlowe's play. Conveniently missing are Edward's murder of Mortimer, his exiling of his Queen to France, and her return and alliance with the younger Mortimer clearly framed as a political expedience. In the film gay love triumphs - as we might wish it would - but in the play Edward is somewhat more complex, his relationship with Piers Gaveston a touch more psychopathic, and his handling of politics clearly quite inept and egomaniacal. By replacing feudal warlords with Thatcherite barons and baronesses, Jarman makes his point - but misses the one about kings needing the support of those they rule, and what happens when they run roughshod over their power base. Queen Isabella, very sympathetic and mistreated in the play, is turned into a callous manipulator in the film. A striking film, utterly original, and while championing the gay ethos that Jarman has wrested from Marlowe's tragedy, the celluloid version conveniently excises whatever is inconvenient or contradictory to the director's message. And this, in a creative way, is just another version of showing the often manipulative and highly selective vision of the film director - not just Jarman in this film, but many, many others also. Plato vindicated.
½ December 25, 2012
this is interesting and entirely innovative.. an amalgamation of an Elizabethan with an unusually postmodern setting
June 20, 2012
So I learned something today. Don't buy a DVD from Amazon without reading the reviews. I read Marlowe's Edward II some time ago, and I remember that I like Marlowe and his plays. So I was browsing Amazon for Renaissance plays made into films, and imagine my pleasure when I saw one that wasn't a Shakespeare play. And then imagine my surprise after watching this movie's first five minutes. This is not the film I expected. The images are sometimes memorable and sometimes the backdrops are boring and oppressive, and maybe Jarman wanted the sets to be oppressive to match the homosexual themes in the England of 1991. He definitely has a strong LGBT message in his adaptation here, but a lot was cut from the original play. The adaptation was a mess, some scenes were confusing and gratuitous to the story. Is it bad when you watch an adaptation of a play you have read and are still fairly confused? Maybe Jarman is not for everyone, and I feel this adaptation is one of the worst I have seen for a Renaissance play.
½ March 6, 2007
[font=Franklin Gothic Medium][size=3]Crazy weekend, only saw one film I didn't already see (I saw Children of Men and The Departed again with a friend), but it was a good one so let's begin, and I promise next week will be better. Oh and by the way, I'm not a terrible typist, I just type fast and don't proof read, so there's bound to be plenty of typos, so sorry, but proofreading is boring.

Edward II is the same story of the play however this one is directed by Derek Jarman. If you don't know who he is, he is famous for making films like Jubilee in which Queen Elizibeth the 1st is transported to post-apocolyptic England where punk-rock all girl gangs and record producers rule the world and Caravaggio in which he takes the famous 16th century painter and his gay lover on motorcycles. He is also famous for sadly dying of AIDS in the 1990's. This was one fo his last films. And this one is no less anachronistic than those. The whole film takes place in a castle I'm assuming (although it looks more like a silo) which gives it the play feeling still. And the story if you don't know it is Edward 2 is the new King of England, and he invites his friend to become a leader in his castle only for the other leaders to banish his friend, and arrest the king. What's so werid? Well besides one of the main characters talking to a friend while behind them to men are going at it and various wardrobe inconsistances (goes from 19th century shirt to an 80's suit), the begining does not have much weridness. However as it progresses it gets more and more werid (or metaphorical, but I'll get to that later). I let you have fun with these however, but there are a few that our important. One scene where the king seeks to attack these critics with force instead of what you think they would do, he starts a strike with gay rights activists, and the riot police come to make them disperse. The main critic of the king at times reminds you of hitler, but more like a die hard christian rebublican. The queen who cheats on the king who loves his friend more than her with this main critic reminds us of the christian rebublican mothers who think copies of GTA should be burned and banned. Now at first you think these things are just werid, but later I realized, Derek Jarman was a pissed off man. Being a gay man with AIDS in the 80's-90's he had a lot of issues with the world. But what I find amazing is that instead of making a film straight out of his head that hurdled these problems at your face, he instead used a famous story, and made it into something that made him feel accomplished. It both showcases our society (as a whole not just certain catogoreys), the battle with gay rights, and it's also a big fuck you. He made you think about these things however, and not just hurdle issues at you. And that's what a true artist does. It's an amzing film that makes you think. Oh ya it was well made too, it looks good. I encourage anyone to see it. Except young children, there's a couple horrifying metaphors in there, like when the king has a dream of having a metal rod thats burning hot shoved up... well ya, i thought of the rod as AIDS. Anyways see it.[/size][/font]
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