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King Lear

Where to Watch King Lear

PG-13
1971

King Lear is a 1970 film directed by Peter Brook and adapted from William Shakespeare's play of the same name. The movie stars Paul Scofield as the titular character, King Lear, and Irene Worth as his eldest daughter, Goneril. The movie is set in medieval England and tells the story of King Lear, who, in his old age, decides to divide his kingdom among his three daughters. However, his plan goes awry when he realizes that he has made a terrible mistake in gauging the love and loyalty of his daughters.

The film opens with a scene depicting a lavish outdoor ceremony where King Lear announces his intention to divide his kingdom among his three daughters, Goneril, Regan (Susan Engel), and Cordelia (Anne-Lise Gabold). He asks each of them in turn to express their love for him, and Goneril and Regan are quick to shower him with words of affection that they do not really feel. However, when it is Cordelia's turn, she cannot bring herself to make false declarations, and instead offers a simple and honest expression of her love. Outraged by her perceived lack of affection, King Lear disowns Cordelia and divides his kingdom between Goneril and Regan.

From here, the movie follows the consequences of King Lear's actions as he realizes that he has made a terrible mistake. His two eldest daughters prove to be selfish and opportunistic, using their newfound power to drive their father out and ultimately stripping him of everything he holds dear. Meanwhile, Cordelia finds herself forced to flee the kingdom after her sisters have declared war on her father, but eventually returns to try and help her father.

Throughout the movie, Paul Scofield delivers a powerful performance as King Lear, capturing both the character's regal strength and his eventual descent into madness. Scofield's portrayal is supported by the strong performances of Irene Worth as Goneril and Cyril Cusack as the Earl of Kent, as well as a number of other talented actors in supporting roles.

In addition to the film's strong performances, the direction by Peter Brook is also noteworthy. Brook has opted for a minimalist approach to the production, eschewing elaborate sets and costumes in favor of a stark, almost bare-bones aesthetic. This approach helps to keep the focus on the characters and their relationships, allowing the film to delve deeper into the psychological nuances of Shakespeare's text.

Furthermore, the movie's cinematography is striking, with the natural landscapes of Denmark and the French Alps serving as a stunning backdrop to the action. The shots of King Lear wandering through the barren wilderness as he descends into madness are particularly haunting and atmospheric, creating a sense of otherworldly beauty that perfectly complements the film's themes.

Overall, King Lear is a powerful and emotionally resonant adaptation of Shakespeare's classic play. With strong performances, intelligent direction, and gorgeous cinematography, it manages to capture both the grandeur and the intimacy of the original text. While it may not be an easy watch, it is a movie that rewards patience and attention, and is sure to leave a lasting impression on those who see it.

King Lear is a Drama movie released in 1971. It has a runtime of 137 minutes. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.2..

How to Watch King Lear

Where can I stream King Lear movie online? King Lear is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent King Lear for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

7.2/10
Director
Peter Brook
Stars
Paul Scofield
Genres
Also starring Irene Worth
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