Sunday, April 4, 2010

Christmas Tale: Lion in Winter

Lion in Winter (1968) - Harvey
Menacing King Henry II sermons the estranged queen Elenore(Katherine Hepburn) for Christmas. They once loved each other but now all that remain are bitterness and scheming against one another with their three loveless, in-line-for-the-throne sons - the warrior and mom's favorite Richard (Anthony Hopkins), calculating middle one Geoffrey (John Castle) and pimply idiot and dad's favorite John (Excalibur's Nigel Terry). It is a great feat to see O'Toole and Hepburn shouting on top of their lungs as if they were in some Adam Sandler movie. But their verbal acrobatics are quite enjoyable. Throw in very young Timothy Dalton(with batting eyelashes) as King Philip of France, you got intriguing power play for 2 hrs. Hepburn's Elenore, the shriveled up old queen who uses her sexual history as a weapon to get at the king is real fun to watch. So as O'Toole's grizzly Henry who wants to do away with three ungrateful sons and marry his young mistress who'd bear his child.

Granddaddy of all home for the holidays movies where blood is thicker than hate, hurt and tears, I must admit I enjoyed this rather stage-y presentation of a Battle Royal quite a bit.

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