February 21, 2024

This review was originally published as part of our coverage of the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival.


Philippa Longley (Sally Hawkins) is experiencing difficult times in his life. Overlooked for an exciting position at her job, she suffers from chronic fatigue, and she and her ex-husband John (Steve Coogan) are trying to raise their children together while dealing with their separation. After seeing his particularly impressive performance Richard III, Philippa becomes fascinated with the title character and the man’s dubious legacy – believing his past to be more fiction than reality. In Richard III, Philippa sees a bit of herself, another misunderstood person worth defending. To find out the truth about Richard III and his past, Philippa decides to try to find his long-lost remains in rumours.

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During this trip, Philippa is often visited by Richard III (Harry Lloyd), who waits outside his house, silently waiting for help to find his remains. A bit of magical realism is injected into this story of a person who followed his beliefs, contrary to the “truths” people tried to push. Philippa’s search is heavily influenced by her belief that Richard III is buried in a parking lot, and while Philippa certainly does research on the matter, her faith in the right seems to guide her journey. The lost king.

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Director Stephen Frears (Dangerous Links, Great Fidelity) and written by Coogan and Jeff Pope, The lost king often feels like the final collaboration of this trio, Philomena, also found a woman (often assisted by Coogan) trying to uncover the truth about a sordid past. I like it Philomena, The lost king It’s about an underdog trying to take on the establishment, and that challenge can often feel like fighting against a brick wall.

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Image via IFC Films

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Philippa joins a group called the Richard III Society, who also wants to know the truth about the dead king, revealing that Shakespeare’s play was more seductive than the truth. Ass The lost king continues, it seems the same could be said The lost king the same It’s a decent underlying story that often works thanks to reliable performances, but it’s hard to imagine that the actual story isn’t much more interesting than what we’re presented with. As if Coogan and Pope weren’t sure that the original story is interesting on its own, they’ve added something to this tale of a woman trying to find a buried king by introducing ghost kings.

Like many of Frears’ films, The lost king It works because of the attractive cast in hand. Hawkins, in her own right, is great as Philippa, a woman who has been outdone too many times and doesn’t want to follow the same fate as Richard III. Hawkins brings a vulnerability to the role, yet the power and determination she sees throughout this quest. The lost king it works not because of Frears, Pope or Coogan, but because Hawkins can bring so much compassion and care to this character who wants to make things right, even for a long-dead king.

Coogan is also quite good here, and the dynamic between him and Hawkins is also welcome, as John initially becomes distrustful of Philippa, then slowly helps her on her journey with caution. Coogan’s arc is beautiful, and some of the best moments The lost king count on seeing these two finally get closer to each other in a way they haven’t been in years. If we take something The lost kingCoogan and Hawkins should definitely play opposite each other in more films.

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Image via IFC Films

Like Frears’ last films, Florence Foster Jenkins and Victoria and Abdul, The Lost King it’s a bit meandering for the first half, leading to a dramatic payoff in the final act for these characters. While the journey to find the bones of King Richard III can drag on at times, the third act makes for a great ending, even if it focuses on an excavation team digging holes in a car park. Say what you will about Frears’ films, he knows how to win over audiences in the final act.

But it is in the excitement of the last third of the film where the weight of the rest of the film is felt. As Philippa seemingly gets closer to her goal, she is overjoyed at the end of this journey, especially when she comes face to face with the men who have stood in her way. The real power and weight of this narrative feels pushed to the back of the film, which, in retrospect, makes the first two acts seem relatively unremarkable in comparison.

However The lost kinglike Philomenait’s one of those Frears films that has a charm that gets lost in itself. A lot of strange choices have been made. The lost king, from the introduction of Richard III as a character who can help guide Philippa to her goal, to a story that holds all the dramatic weight until the final third. But at the end of the day, thanks to Frears’ touch and Hawkins’ constant, moving presence, it’s hard not to win. The lost king—although this is another example of a story that is more appealing than the truth.

Rating: B-

The Lost King now it is playing in halls.

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