A great performance from Nigel Hawthorne makes this movie very enjoyable. His portrayal of the 'Mad King' is in turns entertaining, poignant, sharp, and commanding. The rest of the cast back him up well. The conversion from stage play to screen works well here... the production design is excellent, and the direction is dynamic enough to ensure that the movie never drags. Best of all though is Alan Bennett's script which is full of wonderfully comic and intelligent soundbites. This is a sumptuous period drama which is never too intense, but at the same time never too pithy, and it makes for very pleasant viewing. The film never takes itself too seriously or gets bogged down - after all, what other 18th century costume drama can boast such lengthy discourse regarding the constitution of a British monarch's fetid stools?