I have some exciting news, dear readers. Clare and I are reunited at last! Clare has been visiting since Tuesday, and we have been having a blast! This is the first time we’ve seen each other face to face since last April, and we are both very excited.
When Clare and I get together, we have a lot of traditions that we like to uphold. This means that we travel, go to museums, and explore. But let’s be honest– it mainly means that we eat good food and watch bad movies.
One of our favorite so-bad-it’s-good movies is one that came out in 2011. It’s called The Eagle, and its leads are Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell.
Now, let’s be even more honest– Clare and I did not go to this movie expecting much. We went in expecting to see Jamie Bell at a more appropriate age than in his Billy Elliot days. But it was actually a decent movie! That we enjoyed because of its characters and its moral complexities!
This is mostly due to the fact that the movie is based on a book by the incredibly talented and wonderful Rosemary Sutcliff, The Eagle of the Ninth.
The story takes place in Roman occupied Britain. Many years before, the Ninth Legion marched past Hadrian’s Wall and into northern Britain, never to return. Thousands of men and their eagle standard, a symbol of Rome, were lost. Marcus, the son of the legion’s leader, now searches for the eagle standard and for information about what happened to his father and the Ninth Legion all those years ago. Marcus travels north of the wall with Esca, a British slave whose family was slaughtered at the hands of Roman troops almost a decade earlier. Their relationship is one of the reasons that Clare and I fell in love with this story, which is incredibly complex as you can see in this clip from the film:
But the other reason that we fell in love with the film is the time period in which it takes place. I had not previously read much about Britain during the time that it was occupied by the Romans. But I have done so since, and have thoroughly enjoyed reading about this time in British history. I’ve read many more of Rosemary Sutcliff’s books, and can heartily recommend them all.
So while you are hoping and praying for winter to end (or is that just me?) and enjoying your spring (ha) break, The Eagle is a fun movie that takes place in a fascinating period of history and brings up moral issues about duty, honor, and freedom… but can also be used to poke fun at Channing Tatum’s acting. And if you ask me and Clare, that’s pretty much the best of both worlds.