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This review is from: Lionheart [DVD] (DVD)
I bought this title based on the casting of Patrick Stewart and Glen Close as the royal protagonists in the clever, witty play written by James Goldman. At a pivotal moment in the reign of Henry II, a Christmas gathering at Chinon, in 1183, matches Henry, his estranged iron-willed wife Eleanor and their three surviving sons, Richard, Geoffrey and John in a maelstom of political machinations. Add to the explosive mix of intrigue, ambition and betrayal, the young French King Phillip and his sister Alais, Henry's mistress, who are also trying to establish their grasp on the future, and you have the potential for a feast for the eyes and ears.
It is poorly acted, especially by the minor roles, and that only Glen Close emerges with her dignity intact. It is obvious from the start that she is the class act here, an early scene where, with an imperious look, she cowers the garrison of her prison to its knees is consumate character acting.
The biggest disappointment to me was the Henry of Patrick Stewart. He misjudges the interpretation of this monarch big style with a lack of conviction and commitment, leaving the king to be lacking depth and credibility.
If you want to see a fantastic rendering of this play on screen I can recommend "Lion in Winter", an old film but powerful, convincing performances from Peter O'Toole, Kathryn Hepburn, Timothy Dalton and Anthony Hopkins, to name a few.