Monday, March 22, 2010

Worst Family Christmas Ever: The Lion in Winter

Alternate headline:
The Ultimate in Scenery Chewing: There's Another Two Hours I'll Never Get Back

Additional alternate headline:
Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing


Good actors go 'round in circles for several hours, ending up where they began. It was the original with Katherine Hepburn, Peter O'Toole, Anthony Hopkins, Timothy Dalton et al. A waste of time, money, and actors as far as we could tell. Which was a great disappointment.

Great sets and production. I especially enjoyed the many dogs hanging around and the chickens everywhere. That all seemed authentic.

The same two people who recommended this movie also recently strongly recommended Becket. I don't think so ... my time is precious.


  1. I, too, really disliked Lion in Winter and at the time those actors were among my favorites. However, do not put Becket in the same catagory. It is a great movie and one I think you would thoroughly enjoy. Not to spoil anything but the move of the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Holy Orders is portrayed wonderfully.

  2. Which version was it - Katherine Hepburn or (gross) Glenn Close?

    I saw the Hepburn version when I was a kid. Don't remember much. But I watched "Becket" a couple of years ago and it was excellent.

  3. Oh, good point. I should have said and will revise the post.

    Katherine Hepburn, Peter O'Toole, Anthony Hopkins ...

    Ok, after that good recommendation of Becket, I will put it back on my list. Thanks! :-)

  4. O do put BECKET on your list! It is a great Catholic movie. The only thing BECKET and A DRAMA QUEEN IN WINTER, a cynical, cruel film, have in comma is Peter O'Toole.

  5. Wow... really? I'm surprised! Lion is one of my all time favorite movies! (I think I'm mostly stunned because we otherwise seem to be book-twins. :D) Hey, no accounting for taste. But the tapestry scene alone gets me every time.

  6. I should have said that there were some very clever lines and a few clever scenes ... like that tapestry scene which I did like pretty well. However, about 2/3 of the way through I began wondering where all the histrionics was going. Hmmm. They wound up where they were before. The king and his girlfriend. The three sons all off on their own. The queen in the tower. And no further along at all.

  7. I couldn't finish Lion in the Winter myself, but I think Becket is definitely worthy a try!

  8. BECKET is right up there with A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS as a great Catholic movie. A caution: the restored BECKET features one slightly gamey (actually, leggy) scene in the middle.

    And don't neglect the 1990 (or so) version of A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS with Charlton Heston very effective in a low-budget film that is closer to the play. Although he was an Anglican, Heston was always fond of the story of St. Thomas More and funded and directed this version as a labor of love. In his kindness he hired that old Leftist Vanessa Redgrave to play his wife; in the 1965 film she played Anne Boleyn in an uncredited bit part.

    Another blessing is that neither film features any computer graphics, which contemporary film makers employ in lieu of plot or character.

  9. And earlier I should have written "in common," but, hey, I'm aging rapidly and so get a pass.

    Oh, how merry this site and its readers are!

  10. :-D

    A Man for All Seasons is on my "to watch" list ... I wasn't aware there was a remake so thanks for the scoop.

    Is that a "merry" quote? Or just your observation?