Today, I listened to a radio show with a discussion of people’s favorite family movies. That was rather fun and it got me to thin what I would choose. As it turned out, nobody on the show picked mine. I came up with two, one a drama and the other a comedy.

First, the drama: “The Lion In Winter” in which the Royal Family of England, headed by Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine gather to celebrate Christmas in 1182. They are famously dysfunctional clan. Henry is planning to announce his intended successor and dynastic plotting and contention ensue along with more personal emotional jabs and torture. Henry (Peter O’Toole) and Eleanor (Katherine Hepburn) rake each other over the coals of their complicated mix of romance and competition. Richard (Anthony Hopkins) the eldest son, his mother’s favorite, menaces brother John, his father’s favorite. And other guests include the young King of France and Henry’s young mistress. The performances are wonderful, as could be expected with such a cast.

Next, the comedy: “The Adams Family” is still too much fun. They are, for all their weirdness, the most un-dusfunctional people in the story, a loving, coherent, witty, and independent lot.

So, those are the family movies I’m calling favorites, at least today. Of course I do know at least one dramatic family even more screwed up than the Palatinates, the one in King Lear.



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