Supposedly, a ‘demystified’ take on the tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table attempting to place King Arthur within his possible historic context but anachronisms and historical errors abound. In particular the setting appears to be the begriming of the fifth century – at the moment when Rome’s authority over the province of Britannia is crumbling – but references with the movie place it up to sixty years later. Arthur and his ‘knights’ are Sarmatian auxiliaries who have been defending the the northern borders of the province for fifteen years but have to complete one final mission before demobilisation. In the course of the mission they form an alliance with the Picts, led by Merlin and Guinevere (Keira Knightley), against ravaging Saxon invaders.
Ailbhe Lemass was key makeup artist. Ailbhe Lemass – along with key hair stylist Dee Corcoran – won an Irish Film and Television Academy Award for Best Makeup & Hair.