The Lion in Winter

1968

Action / Biography / Drama / History

15
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 90%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 90%
IMDb Rating 8.1 10 26026

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Anthony Hopkins as Richard
Timothy Dalton as Philip II
Katharine Hepburn as Eleanor of Aquitaine
Peter O'Toole as Henry II
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
925.56 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
2hr 14 min
P/S 3 / 7
1.95 GB
1920*1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
2hr 14 min
P/S 2 / 13

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by HotToastyRag 8 / 10

Incredible acting

Picture, if you will, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? set in 1100s England, and instead of dinner guests, the lead couple bickers with their adult children. Now replace Liz and Dick with Katharine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole. That's The Lion in Winter.

In 1183, King Henry II is in the winter of his life. He has his heart set on leaving the throne to his youngest son, but his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine wants their eldest son to inherit. For years, Henry has imprisoned the queen in a faraway castle, only letting her out for royal functions and holidays. During Christmas, she's brought home, and the two rulers play a nonstop game of cat and mouse, constantly trying to outsmart and out-hurt the other. With their three sons and the visiting king of France as pawns, it's an incredibly lively story.

Peter O'Toole reprises his role as Henry II; he'd already played him four years earlier in Becket. He gives a wonderful, emotional, frustrated performance, but in the stiff competition for Best Actor in 1969, he lost to the unworthy performance of Cliff Robertson in Charly. It's tough to pick which loss is more appalling, The Lion in Winter or Becket. In either case, and even though I'm sure Richard Burton would have been just as good if not better in this role, Peter O'Toole is impressive. The sons are played by Anthony Hopkins, John Castle, and Nigel Terry. It was Anthony Hopkins's second theatrical film, and Timothy Dalton's first; Tim was very touched that Kate would come onto the set on her days off to act with him when he did his closeups and her presence wasn't technically needed. There's an awful lot of touching trivia relating to this film. Peter and Kate enjoyed each other's company on the set, having known each other for years earlier; Peter named his daughter after her. And speaking of descendants, Katharine Hepburn's lineage can actually be traced back to Eleanor and Henry II!

The art and production designs are fantastic in the film. The castle is expansive, but the rooms are mostly empty. The thrones look worn and slightly coarse, and the jewelry looks rich but primitive. Margaret Furse's costumes are in mostly dark, muted colors, and they look very authentic. Furs and large swaths of linen are draped over the actors' shoulders; there are no ornately sewn gowns because in the 1100s, lavish clothes couldn't really have been created.

And finally, there's Katharine Hepburn, who won her third Best Actress Oscar for the film. She vacillates between angry, hurt, cunning, desperate, hopeful, loving, deceitful, and exhausted, and each emotional change takes the audience with her. At times she'll make you laugh and at times she'll make you cry. You'll be kept on your toes, unsure of who to trust or root for, but it'll be worth it. After all, as Kate said in the film, "Every family has their ups and downs."

Reviewed by Ian 8 / 10

An Acting Masterclass

(Flash Review)

This is a literal chess match with an actual king, queen, knights, bishops, rooks and pawns. King Henry II is verbally jockeying with his wife, Duchess Eleanor, whom he has imprisoned but released for the Christmas holiday on which of their three sons shall become the future King. Add onto the game board, King Philip II of France and his half-sister who is the proverbial pawn and King Henry II's mistress. Each player has an angle to play for power or treasure or love. Who will make the shrewdest moves? Will any other them be able to outmaneuver and checkmate Henry? This is basically a sequel to the film Becket and both films have superb screenplays with smart, clever, emotional and snappy dialog. This still feels like it could be acted on stage but the sets in here give the proper appearance of being in a castle and compliment the dialog-driven nature of the film. O'Toole and Hepburn share many scenes together and give a full range of emotions; fun to see if that's your thing. Many reviewers are upset O'Toole didn't win the Oscar for this.

Reviewed by clanciai 9 / 10

A family at war, and a royal family at that in the 12th century with Katharine Hepburn triumphing at large.

Most people seem to exalt this film to supreme top standard, while no one finds anything wrong with it. Maybe it's time for some alternative view.

It's good, of course, everything is excellent, the acting is perfect, Katharine Hepburn reigning supreme and defeating everyone by just being what she is, and her part of the dialogue strikes everyone down. Peter O'Toole is next to it, and the three intriguing sons, only one of them being a bastard while he denounces them all three as bastards, add to the total family conflict. This could actually be the inner conflict of any family, these controversies are quite normal, and you could find the same pattern even in almost any Danish dogma film. Their quarrel isn't unique, they just carry it to extremes by overdoing it with a vengeance, and all except Katharine Hepburn almost go under in the process.

So the story isn't really very remarkable. They just happen to be royalties, a king and queen and princes, and that's all. It all happens within the castle, almost within four walls, and is really a chamber play, unlike the four years earlier 'Becket', which was much more of a monumental story and drama and historically more correct, although they also took considerable liberties with facts there. Here it's all conjecture, it's a mess of a speculation in intrigue, and they even mix homosexuality into the slander to make it as worse as possible. Hence it's actually a rather artificial concoction of a drama just for showing off, but it's splendid theatre all the way. The dialogue is a feast of sumptuous quarrelsome eloquence, and especially the Queen constantly surpasses herself in delivering poisonous knockouts under the belt.

Peter O'Toole was even better in ' Becket', but here he repeats the same role as a 12 year older man and convincingly. He is aging, he is losing control, he has reasons enough to worry about the future, while his sons are more than catching up with him. Prince John is something of a caricature and almost a parody of himself, Anthony Hopkins as Richard is not quite ready yet and too much into his mother to be recognizable as Richard, while Geoffrey is the best of them as a cool calculating bastard.

Rosamund, his mother is constantly mentioned while she does not occur in either of the films, although her part in fact was extremely important, especially in the circumstances of Becket's death, but here at least her presence is constantly felt, as something of a bad conscience and lingering wet blanket for the entire all too powerful family for their own good. Neither Richard nor John became very happy as kings, which all films and history show, let alone Walter Scott.

John Barry's music, finally, adds to the genuineness and atmosphere of the 12th century. He used to make music to thrillers and James Bond, but he is just as eloquent here with choirs and nunneries and efficient medieval bells.

It's a great film, of course, but I still prefer 'Becket'.

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