THE LION IN WINTER
1968, Rialto Pictures, 134 min, UK/USA, Dir: Anthony Harvey

At Christmas court in 1183, King Henry II (Peter O’Toole) argues with his estranged wife, Eleanor (Oscar winner Katharine Hepburn) over whether Prince John (Nigel Terry) or Richard the Lionheart (Anthony Hopkins in his film debut) shall inherit the throne. Complicating matters is King Philip II of France (Timothy Dalton, also his debut) who seeks his own fortune by demanding his half-sister Alais (Jane Merrow), currently Henry’s mistress, be betrothed to Richard. The most royal of the cycle of '60s films dealing with the history and palace intrigues of medieval England.


MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS
2018, Focus Features, 125 min, Dir: Josie Rourke

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan). Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. But Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth 1 (Margot Robbie). Each young queen beholds her “sister” in fear and fascination. Rivals in power and in love, female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence. Determined to rule as much more than a figurehead, Mary asserts her claim to the English throne, threatening Elizabeth’s sovereignty. Betrayal, rebellion and conspiracies within court imperil both thrones – and change the course of history.


THE GIANT
HANDIA
2017, Film Factory, 114 min, Spain, Dir: Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño

In this gripping period piece based on actual events, veteran Martín (Joseba Usabiaga) makes a shocking discovery upon returning home from the First Carlist War: his younger brother Joaquín (Eneko Sagardoy) has become the world’s tallest man. As the brothers try to profit from Joaquín’s worsening condition with a circus act travelling across Europe, they face a host of obstacles that test the limits of their beliefs and loyalties. A moving drama about sibling relationships, THE GIANT won an impressive 10 Goya Awards, including Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best New Actor (Sagardoy). “…[A] film at once fantastic, allegorical and deeply poetic.” - Luis Martínez, El Mundo.


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