King Lear (1987)

King Lear

TOMATOMETER

No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.


Movie Info

This unconventional Shakespearean adaptation deconstructs the classic tale of a monarch whose attempt to split his kingdom amongst his three daughters leads to tragedy. Undeniably odd, this avant-garde reading of the play features unexpected casting, strange digressions, and a unique visual style.

Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Norman Mailer, Jean-Luc Godard
In Theaters:
Runtime:

Cast


as William Shakespeare ...

as Don Learo

as Cordelia

as Professor

as Mr. Alien

as Himself

as Herself
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for King Lear

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (5)

Behind this is Godard's inability to resolve an essential contradiction in his work -- his reverence for ideas and theories and all sorts of philosophical speculation, and his utter disregard for a sustained, coherent presentation of them.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Cinematographer Sophie Mantigneux creates crisp, memorable images and Godard masterfully edits them together (whether the final result is worth the effort is subject to question).

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Full Review… | September 15, 1987
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Shakespeare through the Godard meat-grinder.

Full Review… | November 30, 2012
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for King Lear

I originally gave this 4 stars. Um, really?
Admittedly it was well over 10 years ago I last saw this. I wonder if I actually understood it back then, because I sure don't now...
I see this as more art piece than movie. It is virtually incomprehensible, and just so much happening. Choppy.
There's a blethering old guy with such an irritating voice you just want him to shut up, let alone take in any of his ramblings.
There are some nice shots and eerie music. And seagull sounds. There's some lovely outdoor shots and some 80's fashions. I'm not sure what's up with the models running around the countryside.
There is Molly Ringwald - let's face it, the reason I bought this.
(Don't buy it for Molly Ringwald. She's great and I could feel the depression of her character, but she's great in better movies than this one).
I can't totally pan this, because it's interesting. There's parts that make me want to like it. But I'm not at all sure that's actually what the director wants here.

romy861
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

½

[font=Century Gothic][color=darkslategray]My love-hate relationship with Jean-Luc Godard continues here with his 1987 film "King Lear." It starts off with Norman Mailer and ends with Woody Allen. What it's about is much less clear: one of William Shakespeare's descendants is hunting around for the old master's material while meanwhile running into various people including Burgess Meredith and Molly Ringwald, playing respectively, a writer obsessed with Jewish gangsters and his daughter, Cordelia. When he's done with Shakespeare's corpse, Godard goes to work on Virginia Woolf's corpse...[/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=#2f4f4f][/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=#2f4f4f]What does any of this have to do with King Lear? Very little, I think. But then I think that's the idea.[/color][/font]

Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

½

Behind this is Godard's inability to resolve an essential contradiction in his work -- his reverence for ideas and theories and all sorts of philosophical speculation, and his utter disregard for a sustained, coherent presentation of them.

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