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 »
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 »
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 »
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 <email@example.com>
Nigel Hawthorne - a relatively inexperienced cinema actor most of whose work up till then had been confined to the stage and TV - was so keen to reprise his award-winning stage role for the movie version that he took the part of a villain in Sylvester Stallone's vehicle Demolition Man (1993) just to prove that he had screen presence. As it transpired this was unnecessary as Hawthorne was the producers' automatic choice for the lead. See more »
When Lady Pembroke first discusses Dr. Willis with Pitt, Pitt reaches out for Lady Pembroke's note twice. See more »
No life is without its regrets yet none is without its consolations.
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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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