When Elizabeth Tudor comes to the throne, her (male) advisers know she has to marry. Doesn't she? Thus starts a decades-long political/ matrimonial game, during an age of high passions and high achievement.
18th-century England and Ireland viewed through the eyes of four beautiful high-born sisters - Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, great-granddaughters of a king, daughters of a cabinet minister, and wives of politicians and peers.
The Virgin Queen explores the full sweep of Elizabeth's life: from her days of fear as a potential victim of her sister's terror; through her great love affair with Robert Dudley; into her ... See full summary »
At the center of the story is Augustus Melmotte, a European-born city financier, whose origins are as mysterious as his business dealings. Trollope describes him as 'something in the city',... See full summary »
The focus of King Charles II is his court, his squabbling family and his glamorous mistresses - from the high-born and promiscuous Barbara Villiers through folk heroine and sex symbol of the day Nell Gwynne to the French spy Louise de Keroualle. It is an original take on a historical period written by award-winning screenwriter Adrian Hodges, whose credits include David Copperfield and The Lost World, which penetrates to the heart of the charismatic monarch who was deeply traumatised by the execution of his father.Written by
Christian Coulson, Shirley Henderson, Helen McCrory and David Bradley would all go on to star in the Harry Potter franchise. See more »
Just before the sequence concerning the smallpox epidemic, we get a brief look at The King's upper right arm and can clearly see a smallpox vaccination scar. See more »
King Charles II:
It's all been for nothing, Nell. The cause that gave my life meaning, will die with me. I fought to restore everything that was lost when my father was murdered but James will destroy it all. I know that, I've always known that.
Then why did you fight so hard for him?
King Charles II:
Not for him, for the principle. For the rights of Kings. Parliament will have its victory in the end.
You know what I think about politics; it's all a lot of foolish men scheming to ruin each other for no reason anyone can ...
[...] See more »
The version shown in UK was titled "Charles II: The Power & The Passion" and its original running time is 235 minutes. It was broadcast on TV by BBC in four parts, as it is also on the UK DVD distributed by BBC. The longer UK version has also been released in many European countries (Finland, Netherlands and more) and Australia. The version shown in USA on A&E was titled "The Last King" and has a running time on 188 minutes, cutting it down by almost 40 minutes. The DVD released by A&E in USA is the shorter version. See more »
The Last King: The Power and the Passion of Charles II captures and squeezes twenty-five years of politics and debauchery into 188 minutes so well that the time focused and wasted on Lady Castlemaine, along with a few other minor warts, are forgiven.
Charles II, a less formal King with never enough money, trusted no one; and so he told half-truths. This fact and the many other snippets of historical information interwoven with fiction makes The Last King a worthy and most enjoyable period piece. It's also a spring-board for those unfamiliar, but interested in learning more about Charles II's Restoration.
Disappointing are the sets and physiognomy of the actors portraying some of the characters. There's also too many close-ups. Granted, these close-ups are supposed to convey intimacy between characters. I would have expected a better balance in the actors projecting the intimacy and the camera work.
Diana Rigg is stellar as the dominating, moody, and excitable Queen Henrietta Maria.
Rufus Sewell, although not swarthy like Charles's Medici ancestors, plays the King intelligently and with sensitivity.
Helen McCrory, who plays Lady Castlemaine, looks a wee bit too old for her part. In 1665 Castlemaine would have been 25. Charles 35. Also, Lady Castlemaine is known to have been very beautiful, tall, voluptuous, and with blue-violet eyes. I'm sure those familiar with these historical figures were disappointed when they saw otherwise, and perhaps were scratching their heads.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this