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King Lear (2018)

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An aging King invites disaster, when he abdicates to his corrupt, toadying daughters, and rejects his loving and honest one.

Director:

Richard Eyre

Writers:

Richard Eyre (adapted by), William Shakespeare (based on a play by)
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Popularity
2,602 ( 264)
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Broadbent ... Earl of Gloucester
Jim Carter ... Earl of Kent
Tobias Menzies ... Duke of Cornwall
Emily Watson ... Regan
John Macmillan ... Edmund
Florence Pugh ... Cordelia
Emma Thompson ... Goneril
Anthony Calf ... Duke of Albany
Anthony Hopkins ... Lear
Simon Manyonda ... Duke of Burgundy
Chukwudi Iwuji ... King of France
Karl Johnson ... Fool
Samuel Valentine Samuel Valentine ... Lear's Gentleman
Andrew Scott ... Edgar
Christopher Eccleston ... Oswald
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Storyline

An aging King invites disaster, when he abdicates to his corrupt, toadying daughters, and rejects his loving and honest one.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

insanity | monarch | civil war | See All (3) »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 September 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

King Lear See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This marks the third movie in which Academy Award winner Sir Anthony Hopkins and Academy Award winner Dame Emma Thompson joined forces. They collaborated previously on The Remains of the Day (1993) and Howards End (1992). Interestingly, in the previous two movies, they portrayed each others' love interests, in this one, they are father and daughter. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dividing the spoils
29 May 2018 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

My word not many laughs in King Lear. My son who fancied a bit of Shakespeare got put off by the eye gouging scene of Gloucester. He went off to watch a James Bond movie, Spectre I think!

Richard Eyre who worked with Anthony Hopkins in the film version of The Dresser, reunited with him again as Eyre adapts and directs the film version of King Lear.

The setting is modern day Britain as a military dictatorship.

The ageing Lear has gathered his family to divide up his kingdom in what proves to be unwise. One part to his daughter Goneril (Emma Thompson), the other to Regan (Emily Watson) and the remainder would had gone to Cordelia (Florence Pugh) until she fails to show her father enough devotion and flattery. She is disinherited and banished.

The declaration of love and devotion from Goneril and Regan are false. The autocrat is usurped from his power by two of his offspring with Cordelia who was the only daughter true to him. Lear descends into madness.

Eyre has wisely cut the text down so the running length is less than two hours but I still found the play dense and also at times choppy. I liked some of the updates. Edgar and Edmund's battle is a mixed martial arts contest. Lear walks around the shopping precinct, homeless and pathetically pushing a shopping trolley with rubbish.

Hopkins, maybe due to his Celtic temperament delivers a shouty performance. A man in rage and also pathetic as he is played like a puppet on a string by Goneril and Regan.

This Lear is wonderfully filmed, the picture gets desaturated as the story gets bleaker by the end.


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