In this Derek Jarman version of Christopher Marlowe's Elizabethan drama, in modern costumes and settings, Plantagenet king Edward II hands the power-craving nobility the perfect excuse by ... See full summary »
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John Gordon Sinclair
Upper Trollop, 1713. An illness takes hold of the villagers turning them into unfeeling creatures who eat anything they can get their hands on. Lord Fortitude must lead the small band of survivors and escape to France.
My main attraction to watching Edward II, not including my love for literature, was Ian McKellen. And he is superb here, passionate and very spontaneous. Plus there are few performances of his where he has been more handsome. James Laurenson is also outstanding, very nuanced, while the support cast of Timothy West and Diane Fletcher are also on their level. There is a memorable turn towards the end by Robert Eddison. The dialogue I can't fault and it is delivered with great feeling and intensity by all, and the story is well measured in pace and gives the love between Edward and Gaveston a certain depth. The production values are fine, the settings are appropriately regal and the costumes at least don't look drab. The filming is very good. Overall, helped hugely by the performances this is Christopher Marlowe done perfectly, highly recommended. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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