There’s nothing more relaxing than an easygoing British comedy or a drama based on true events. The Lost King is a charming but also flawed dramedy about one woman’s quest to find the grave of Richard III. I say flawed because at times it feels too loose and with already slow pacing it starts to dangerously meander. They needed to shave about 20 mins of runtime to keep the movie tight and breezy. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out it because you most certainly should. It offers not only a very personal look into a surreal story that really happened but also into the world of archeology and history.
You see, Philippa Langley, masterfully played by Sally Hawkins, thought that Richard III was not the evil man history books made him out to be. A common occurrence in the world of academia with firmly entrenched views. And I’m not saying this just because I watched Graham Hancock’s Ancient Apocalypse two times in a row. I’m saying this because it’s a common theme in this area. So, The Lost King is one of those relaxing movies perfect for spacing out. You’re hungover or don’t know what type of movie to watch? Just play this one and you won’t regret it.
And if you want to continue in the same direction, check out Bank of Dave and The Duke. Both of these movies are a bit more cheerful than The Lost King and also based on true events. If, however, you want to know more about how the whole search for Richard III remains went, you can take a look at a 2013 documentary Richard III. Apparently, the makers of the movie we’re talking about today took some liberties when it comes to the story. I still don’t understand why they didn’t make it more engaging. Especially when you consider the fact that the director is Stephen Frears (The Queen, Philomena).
Meet Philippa Langley, a divorced mom of two working at a job she doesn’t like. She feels like life is passing her by and that she needs to do something. The answer appears one night when she sees a play about Richard III. She becomes very interested in his life and death, finding out that we don’t know where his grave is. Determined to get to the bottom of this, Philippa sets out on a journey that will change her life.
Sally Hawkins gave one hell of a performance in The Lost King basically saving the whole movie. Apart from her we also have Steve Coogan and two Game of Thrones veterans and fittingly, kings. I am talking about Harry Lloyd and Mark Addy. I should be also fair and point out the quite realistic depiction of late-stage capitalism. Along with a healthy dose of social realism. The way other men are treating Phillipa feels sadly realistic and paints a damning picture of our society.
The power of The Lost King comes from its fascinating true story featuring all kinds of things I would never imagine exist. Like the Richard III society, several thousand strong. Finally, if the dynamic between Philippa and Richard reminds you of a certain movie but you can’t remember which one, it’s Kate & Leopold. You know the one where a dashing prince ends up in modern-day New York and falls for an ordinary girl.
Director: Stephen Frears
Writers: Steve Coogan, Philippa Langley, Jeff Pope
Cast: Sally Hawkins, Harry Lloyd, Steve Coogan, James Fleet, Mark Addy, James Rottger
Fun Facts: You can see the real Phillipa during the reburial. She has long blonde hair and she had almost the same hairstyle during the events portrayed in this movie.