The focus of King Charles II is his court, his squabbling family and his glamorous mistresses - from the high-born and promiscuous Barbara Villiers through folk heroine and sex symbol of the day Nell Gwynne to the French spy Louise de Keroualle. It is an original take on a historical period written by award-winning screenwriter Adrian Hodges, whose credits include David Copperfield and The Lost World, which penetrates to the heart of the charismatic monarch who was deeply traumatised by the execution of his father. Written by
I've watched this twice now, since A&E has been broadcasting the show this weekend under the title "The Last King" -- presumably because American audiences can't be expected to know or care who Charles II is.
Anyway, I don't understand the earler negative review at all. Hard to believe we watched the same show. The one I watched is a fantastic, very human, extraordinarily well-acted, and surprisingly faithful period piece.
While the acting in general is at a very high level (special props to the actress who played Lady Castlemaine), Rufus Sewell is simply remarkable. He communicates intelligence, self-indulgence, simple human decency and moments of power and passion wonderfully well. A terrific performance. I suppose because of his dark, somewhat moody good looks he only gets cast as bad guys by Hollywood (Helen of Troy, A Knight's Tale), but he deserves better.
Two thumbs up!
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