The Lion in Winter

The Lion in Winter

DVD - 2004
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In the winter of 1183, a royal family prepares for a joyous Christmas holiday reunion of scheming, conniving and deceit. King Henry II summons his cunning prison-bound wife to his side as he prepares to announce the succession of the throne to one of his double-crossing three sons, none of whom are qualified to rule the monarchy.


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Dec 13, 2014

A weak television adaptation of the classic 1968 film, itself based upon a stage play. It’s Christmas Eve 1183, and all is not well in the household of King Henry II as he and his captive wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, scheme and plot over which son will inherit the crown. He favours the cretinous half-wit John, while she has her eye on Richard, “a constant warrior and sometime poet” with a fierce desire to be king. Thrown into the mix are Geoffrey, the neglected third son with a chip on his shoulder the size of Brittany; and young Louie, France’s new monarch whose state visit conceals a few ulterior motives of his own. While this modern version may claim some technical superiority it lacks any of its predecessor’s passion and sense of intimacy, relying instead on histrionics and overacting...rather like a medieval episode of Dynasty. And although they are accomplished actors in their own rights, leads Glenn Close and Patrick Stewart are simply no match for the bravura performances of Katherine Hepburn and Peter O’Toole (Hepburn actually garnered a well-deserved Oscar for her role as the emotionally conflicted Eleanor). Perhaps I’m being unduly harsh for I find it all but impossible not to compare the two at every point, but in my opinion this is one remake that didn’t need to see the light of day.

Feb 14, 2013

Don't waste this time on this movie. Looks like a good cast, but the direction, sets, and overall script is very poor.


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