Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Lion In Winter (1968) non-review post {for the Dueling Divas Blogathon}

This is My Contribution To Backlots Dueling Divas Blogathon

While thinking about what a diva was and what films I could write about that I haven't before, I actually just redefined "Diva" as I think it should be, or at least what I thought made sense. I always thought a Diva was someone who was a show-off or a prima-donna or basically someone who thought a lot of themselves. So, with this in mind I chose the complete and utter best cuss and put-down movie ever created... The Lion In Winter (1968) starring Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins, Timothy Dalton.  I can promise you that you will never find a more quotable movie to help  when you are in need of comebacks for a verbal fight.

I think that Peter O'Toole as Henry II is as much of a diva as any of the Bette Davises and Joan Crawfords that people have been writing about. And as for Eleanor of Aquitaine, well, she's my favourite, strongest and most powerful "diva".  So this post might not be what most people expected for this blogathon, but I thought it was the best way for me to go about it.
Henry II: HA! What shall we hang... the holly, or each other? 

I've already written my review "proper" for this movie which I will post at a later date, now I'm just going to let rip with the whole amazingness of the script and, if you'll pardon the expression - there just doesn't seem a better way to put it - badass characters from just about the most bitch-fightiest movie ever created. Ok. So here we go. *Insert James Mason evil laugh*

The most popular "cusses" as they are named, right now among boys my age {if you are not familiar with the likes of 13 year old boys, then I applaud you. Somehow you have managed to live a pain-free and pest-free existence} are all variations on, "Oh my god your such a F****** Idiot!" To which the second teenage boy replies, "So's your mum!" Teenage boy one is then deeply, deeply emotionally scarred and says something along the lines of, "What you say about my mum?" Said first teenager then starts to poke the second and the second pokes back etc. etc. This may go on for some time, though it never gets any more interesting than the occasional stroppy huffing and puffing. {By the way, if you've fallen asleep by now, don't you dare start complaining. I have to deal with this every day. Good god.}

The Richard Evil Eyes...

Aside from one rather strange boy who likes to tell me that I have "beard hair", should take up "surrealist painting" and claims he's going to sell me to the circus {no, I don't think he's had therapy as of yet, and I am reluctant to tell him to get any because he watches Hitchcock movies. Such is the insanity of my everyday life}, most boys are like that. Now, take these two cuss exchanges from two boys in The Lion In Winter,
King Henry II: Now see here boy...
King Phillip of France: I am a king! I am no man's "Boy'!
King Henry II: A King? Because you put your ass on purple cushions?

Well, need I say more? And that's only the men. Eleanor Of Aquitaine (A.K.A. Kate the Queen Of The Insult Hepburn) hasn't even been let out of her prison yet. Plus, she was only put there because she was way too smart and legendary for the king to deal with. But did she just sit in her prison with those nuns doing her embroidery like a good little girl? No. She sat there like a boss doing her embroidery, but all the while she was actually planning a way to get her son Richard the throne and win Henry back.

They're all pretty amazing at cusses except John who... well...
John: You stink. You're a stinker and you stink!
When Eleanor gets home, all sorts of hell break loose. Henry and Alais's (his mistress who just happened to be raised by Eleanor like a child of her own. No I'm not joking, and yes. Woody Allen may spring to mind) relationship is put to test and the competition between Eleanor and Henry's three sons is magnified by a crazy amount. She has been locked up in this horrible dungeon for almost a year and instead of wasting her time mindlessly embroidering or knitting, she plans how she will overthrow the king or win him back or both at the same time and she comes back to the castle ready to start working on her evil scheme. MWAHAHAHAHAHA! And she also has her own plans for verbal battle.


Eleanor: What would you have me do? Give out? Give up? Give in?  
Henry II: Give me a little peace.  
Eleanor: A little? Why so modest? How about eternal peace? Now there's a thought. 
The most disturbing and I find probably effective, is her taunting Henry of how she had an affair with his father. She keeps going on and on about the details of their relationship. We are to believe that Eleanor is slightly older than Henry so the way she keeps reminding him that she had an... interesting youth. *shudder* But she does get the best put-downs.
Prince John: [rushing in] What's wrong? What's happened? 
Eleanor: Richard's getting married.  
Prince John: Getting married? Now? He's getting married now 
Eleanor: I never cease to marvel at the quickness of your mind. 

The "duel of the divas", as it were, goes on until finally the film is concluded in a massive fight in the dungeons of the castle. But don't worry, the film does end with some hope for the future, but I don't wan't to spoil it for you :-D



family film reviews said...

The key to the film success (of which there are many) is the energy and pure spectacle of what we are watching. Director Brad Bird (of Pixar fame) handles his first live-action feature with a clear understanding of how an action scene should look and never lets the audience rest for a moment as the action moves around the world from Russia to the more glamourous Dubai and India. This, the fourth instalment in the M:I franchise, is the closest to how James Bond used to be, with nuclear missiles and globetrotting and luxury cars and beautiful women; however, the writers still keep the ‘impossible’ in Mission: Impossible with the gadgets and customary break-in sequence

ann said...

Very nice site Bette.
i love classic movies mainly from the 1950 SOME NOT AVALABLE ON DVD
maybe my fav film is breif encounter

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