'Tale of Tales' - Movie Review

The movie is a medieval fantasy, with our participants being royalty or directly connected to royalty. It opens on a queen, played by Salma Hayek, who will do anything to conceive a child - including eating the heart of a sea monster. That part of the story also follows the two identical sons (by different mothers) (Christian and Jonah Lees) that result from this act. Another story - although these are all connected, apparently in neighbouring kingdoms - concerns a king (Vincent Cassel) who sleeps with any attractive young woman he can, and the two elderly women he ends up courting by accident. The third story concerns an eccentric and rather stupid king (Toby Jones) who gives away his loving daughter (Bebe Cave) in marriage to an ogre (Guillaume Delaunay).

The stories are all rather unpleasant, as are most of the people involved. They're adapted from fairy tales written by Italian poet Giambattista Basile. The locations and cinematography are gloriously beautiful. This mix of nastiness and beauty left me ... ambivalent. I feel like I have to recommend it to fans of fantasy: it's worth seeing.