A Man for All Seasons (1966)

(On Cable TV, March 2018) Holy dullness incarnate… Not all Best Picture Oscar winners are created equal, and if some are offensive and others have successfully baited the Academy for feel-good recognition, some are dull and few are duller than Fred Zinnemann’s A Man for All Seasons. An intensely specialized drama set in King Henry VIII’s time, this is nothing more than a theatre play filmed indifferently, and doomed to excruciating lengths if you’re not a fan of historical pieces made with as little flair as possible. The portrait of Sir Thomas More as a quasi-perfect person faced with a difficult choice, A Man for All Seasons is intense in costumes, religious quandaries, matter of states and despite everything it’s remarkably boring. I’m not a good public for period pieces to begin with (especially those who use old English), and this film left me colder than I would have thought possible. As with other underwhelming Oscar Winners (and there’s a long list of those), the best I can do is sigh, scratch A Man for All Seasons off the list and say that I don’t have to watch it again.

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