THE LION IN WINTER, also 1968, was a marvellous treat then, it cemented Katharine Hepburn's return to movies, great period detail with all those dark ages castles. Its a witty script of course from the play, and very well directed by Anthony Harvey. I liked the faux medieval score too by John Barry. O'Toole is in his element and the young cast excel: Jane Merrow whom I liked and had met, Timothy Dalton (I had seen him up close in a stage play at London's Royal Court, where he was one of the most magnetic actors I had seen, plus Hopkins and John Castle. It was magical seeing it on the big screen at the Odeon Haymarket, particularly when Kate's boat sails down the river and her later in-fighting with husband O'Toole and those unruly sons. If Eleanor of Aquitaine was not really like this then she should have been.
Kate of course is in her element - Pauline Kael though did not like her at all here, as per her caustic review in "Going Steady", where she said Hepburn had become "sweet and lovable ... like Helen Hayes". It remains a great Christmas movie though.
After Christmas: films of the year, headed by AMOUR. Maggie Smith back in cinemas in QUARTET and on television in the latest DOWNTON ABBEY Christmas Special, but I have 2 other Maggies to review: her other QUARTET for James Ivory in 1981 with Alan Bates and Isabelle Adjani; and a BBC production of MEMENTO MORI directed by Jack Clayton in 1992, which like MISS BRODIE, is from a tale by Muriel Spark. Happy Holidays!