The Lost King

Watch The Lost King

"Her story made history."
  • PG-13
  • 2023
  • 1 hr 48 min
  • 6.7  (8,236)
  • 64

The Lost King is a British biographical drama film directed by Stephen Frears and based on the remarkable true story of the discovery of King Richard III's remains in Leicester, England. The film was released in 2022 and stars an ensemble cast led by Sally Hawkins, who expertly embodies the role of amateur historian and sleuth, Philippa Langley. The screenplay, jointly crafted by Jeff Pope and Steve Coogan, draws inspiration from the real-life events and the book "The King's Grave: The Search for Richard III" by Philippa Langley and Michael Jones.

The movie opens up by introducing us to Philippa Langley, a seemingly ordinary woman with an extraordinary fascination for King Richard III, a maligned and mysterious figure in British history. Langley's portrayal by Sally Hawkins is captivating and immersive, as her character overflows with determination and passion. The story delves into her personal life, highlighting that her drive and curiosity aren't limited to her interest in history but are integral aspects of her being.

As the film unfolds, we see Philippa battle her personal struggles that include balancing her family life with her desire to rewrite history. Her journey is not just a quest for historical truth but also a path to self-discovery and validation, imbued with relentlessness and tinged with moments of vulnerability. Sally Hawkins' performance as Langley is underpinned by a nuanced and delicate balance of obsession and thoughtful inquiry, capturing the audience’s empathy.

The audience follows Philippa on her intriguing adventure to locate the final resting place of King Richard III. Despite the odds stacked against her and the skepticism from academic experts, Philippa's conviction does not falter. Fueled by intuition and armed with meticulous research, she becomes the driving force behind a remarkable historical dig. The film minutes the unexpected yet relentless collaborations and challenges that Langley faces along the way. Shonagh Price and Helen Katamba, among other actors, provide strong supporting performances that add to the rich tapestry of the story.

The Lost King doesn't just excavate the physical resting place of a medieval king; it delves into the life of a man who has been the subject of historical debate and speculation for centuries. It questions the power of narrative and the responsibility of historians and laypersons alike to seek the truth behind the reputations that history books often cement. The movie approaches its historical subject with respect, though it does not shy away from embracing the elements of intrigue and political machinations that surrounded King Richard III's life and reign.

Director Stephen Frears brings his experienced touch to the film, effectively interleaving Philippa's modern-day detective work with flashbacks to the 15th century that paint a vivid picture of King Richard III's tumultuous era. The cinematography is refined, subtly shifting between present-day scenes and historical ones, making the past come alive while bridging it with the present. The film benefits from the careful art direction that recreates the historical period with authenticity and attention to detail.

One of the noteworthy aspects of The Lost King is its depiction of the underdog narrative. The movie's reflection on the pursuit of a passion project, despite adversity and ridicule, is universally appealing. The story is a celebration of the human spirit, tenacity, and the profound impact one person can have when following their convictions. It questions the status quo and invites viewers to reconsider what they take for granted as historical 'fact.'

The movie is driven by themes of legacy, truth, and the pursuit of justice—not just for King Richard III, but also for Philippa Langley, whose relentless drive pushes against the gendered expectations and limitations that society often imposes on women. The Lost King presents a multi-layered narrative that underscores the importance of perseverance and valorizes historical research and the role of female scholars in a field often dominated by men.

In essence, The Lost King is a poignant and thought-provoking film that artfully blends the drama surrounding a historical puzzle with the deeply personal story of a contemporary woman’s quest for truth. It’s a film that tells a dual story; one of uncovering the physical remains of a long-lost monarch, and the other of a woman unearthing her own sense of purpose and identity. With a competent cast and a story that resonates with audiences on multiple levels, The Lost King is a cinematic experience that reverberates with both heart and historical significance.

The Lost King is a 2023 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 48 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7 and a MetaScore of 64.

The Lost King
Where to Watch The Lost King
The Lost King is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Lost King for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 48 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (8,236)
  • Metascore