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The Madness of King George tells the story of the disintegration of a fond and foolish old man, who rules England, yet cannot find his way through the tangle of his own mind. I am not sure anyone but Nigel Hawthorne could have brought such qualities to this role.
Comedy and tragedy cohere in this extraordinary film of Alan Bennett's play.
The 1994 film of the play by Alan Bennett is a model of historical accuracy and psychological tact. A triumph.
The Madness of King George mixes the ebullience of Tom Jones with a pop-theatrical royal back-stabbing that is reminiscent of films like The Lion in Winter. That makes it a deft, mischievous, beautifully acted historical drama with exceptionally broad appeal.
The Madness of King George is much more than a simple study of one man's descent into insanity. With a style that's more tongue-in-cheek than melodramatic, the film is always witty and occasionally satirical. The characterizations are flawless (as well as historically accurate), and the political wrangling of the Tories and Whigs (led by PM Pitt and Charles Fox, respectively) provide a deliciously complex backdrop.
Riotous adaptation of Alan Bennett's comedy about monarchal frailty.
The humor built into this sharp-witted human comedy is enhanced in the translation. Meanwhile, the arrestingly stylized imagery of the original Madness has not been lost.
An excellent debut from director Hytner. The real treat, though, is Hawthorne who, whether lecturing his family on regal responsibility or taking a dump in front of the PM, gives what is undoubtedly the performance of his career.
This elegant adaptation by Alan Bennett of his own stage success is the best of his contributions to the big screen to date: sturdily performed and persuasively detailed, and with a beady delight in political in-fighting.
Acclaimed stage director Nicholas Hytner was obviously determined to make his cinematic debut a memorable one. He doesn't just open up the play; he scatters it across sun-drenched country fields, seemingly all of London, and every nook and cranny of the royal residence. Despite the talents involved, however, the effect is surprisingly static and unexciting, probably because the source material is the kind of talky tour de force that is best carried off on the stage. Even so, Hawthorne's performance is tremendously intelligent and affecting.

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