A meditation on power and the metaphor of the body of state, based on the real episode of dementia experienced by George III [now suspected a victim of porphyria, a blood disorder]. As he ... See full summary »
Queen Victoria is deeply depressed after the death of her husband, disappearing from public. Her servant Brown, who adores her, through caress and admiration brings her back to life, but ... See full summary »
Housewife Annie Marsh suspects her husband might be The Hawk, a brutal serial killer. Complicating matters is the fact that she once was incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital. When she ... See full summary »
The story of Oscar Wilde, genius, poet, playwright and the First Modern Man. The self-realization of his homosexuality caused Wilde enormous torment as he juggled marriage, fatherhood and ... See full summary »
A meditation on power and the metaphor of the body of state, based on the real episode of dementia experienced by George III [now suspected a victim of porphyria, a blood disorder]. As he loses his senses, he becomes both more alive and more politically marginalized; neither effect desirable to his lieutenants, who jimmy the rules to avoid a challenge to regal authority, raising the question of who is really in charge. Written by
Dan Hartung <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Willis first restrains King George in the strapped chair, the music that plays is George Frideric Handel's "Zadok The Priest", commissioned for George II and performed during his and every subsequent monarch's coronation. As the music reaches its climax, the King is fully restrained in the "throne" with a leather strap around his forehead resembling a diadem. The music is thus highlighting the restraint scene as a mock Coronation. See more »
Pitt and Thurlow go to visit the King at Kew during the winter - but the leafy green trees outside clearly indicate that the scene was filmed in summer (shooting took place from July to early September). See more »
[shown the King's discoloured urine, evidence of his porphyria]
Medicine, young man, is a *science*! It consists of *observation*! Whether a man's water is blue is neither here nor there.
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I've recently revisited the third Blackadder series. Nigel Hawthorne doesn't play his George III quite as spoony as that of the Curtis/Elton BBC series who wants his son to marry a pot plant, but it's close.
The film works because of three things. First - always first - is Alan Bennett's screenplay which is succinct and hilariously funny. It is also unbearably sad at choice moments. The actors - the second success story of the project - throw themselves at the pathos as furiously as at the comedy. There's camp and potty humour (literally) juxtaposed with the bare quoting of King Lear and it all works.
Thirdly, there is an attention to the detail which goes beyond costume and design. Hytner has got his cast to play out humans inside 18th century character roles - there's no false reverence or mannered acting.
Nigel Hawthorne is brilliant, playing out a human despite the vastly inflated ego he has to inhabit either side of sanity. All others aspire to this lead, with only Ian Holm (naturally, as his temporarily domineering doctor) matching it. 7/10
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