A Man for All Seasons 1966 ★★★★

8/140

Lovely to think that Scofield won the Oscar for his performance as Thomas More but for me the joy was watching Robert Shaw turn up to steal the show as Henry XIII in not much more than one scene. Lovely support from Leo McKern, and Vanessa Redgrave pops up briefly to waggle her tongue and eyelashes at the King like a crazy thing.

I'm accidentally knocking through Robert Bolt-scripted films quite quickly, having seen Lawrence of Arabia for the first time not long before this. The man is a master. Screenplays devoid of flab and packed with detail, with slowly unfolding characters, always showing not telling. Proper bloody films, these.

Still, despite the infinite number of universes there is still no universe in which this is a better film than 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' But it's still marvellous. The thing about bad Academy decisions is there's always another far worse one just around the corner.

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