|Original title:||The lost king|
|Running time:||108 minutes|
|Release date:||24 march 2023|
Stephen Frears is undoubtedly one of the most appreciated British directors who has marked the memories of the spectators by films with social characters as effective as simplistic by their form. He doesn't need special effects or an impressive number of extras to make good films that have found their audience. His twenty-fifth film The Lost King is an adaptation of the novel by Philippa Langley and Michael Jones The King's Grave: The Search for Richard III. The film is based on the true story of the quest of Philippa Langley, a British writer and producer, to find and exhume the remains of Richard III in order to re-establish this important figure in English history.
The Lost King shows once again that true stories can give rise to good films, provided that there is enough material to hold the audience's intention and even if here at times the pace of the film is jerky and seems to want to find the DNA of British films of the 80s and 90s, the actress Sally Hawkins delivers an interpretation so cheerful that it makes us want to follow the tribulations and quest of her character. Philippa Langley seems to be bored in her work and does not get the recognition she seems to deserve. Her passion for history makes her want to go on a quest to find the lost tomb of King Richard III after discovering a Shakespeare play.
Her lack of experience in the quality of history in the face of eminent and reputed British historians will lead her to confront many people and especially to have to find the necessary funds to carry out her research. Her ex-husband, who is surprised by the fact that she seems to put her research above all else, will oppose her before understanding that she occupies an important place in his heart and will decide to support her financially despite her reduced financial means. Philippa Langley in her struggle and her various readings of books about Richard III will lead not only important historians but also England to discover the true importance and legacy of one of the most controversial rulers in English history.
Stephen Frears has always placed symbolic people at the center of his films who find themselves in situations that are beyond them. Certainly The Lost King shows that despite years behind the camera, Stephen Frears has lost none of his undeniable storytelling skills and even if his story here is simplistic and does not seek to compete with the many American blockbusters, the fact remains that his new film is as entertaining as it is informative and would almost make us want to dive back into our history books. After making such excellent films as My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), Hero (1992), The Queen (2006) and Philomena (2013), Stephen Frears' new film is certainly not his best but is definitely a good entertainment that should easily find its audience.
The Lost King
Directed by Stephen Frears
Written by Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope
Based on The King's Grave: The Search for Richard III by Philippa Langley and Michael Jones
Produced by Steve Coogan, Christine Langan, Dan Winch
Starring Sally Hawkins, Steve Coogan, Harry Lloyd, Mark Addy, Lee Ingleby, James Fleet
Cinematography : Zac Nicholson
Edited by Pia Di Ciaula
Music by Alexandre Desplat
Production companies : Pathé, Baby Cow Productions, BBC Film, British Film Institute, Ingenious
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures (United Kingdom), Pathé Distribution (France/Switzerland)
Release dates : 10 September 2022 (TIFF), 7 October 2022 (UK), 24 march 2023 (United States), 29 march 2023 (France)
Running time : 108 minutes
Seen on February 22, 2023 (screener press)