Oscars Challenge #77: A Man For All Seasons (1966) Movie Review
A Man For All Seasons is probably one of the Best Pictures that I do not know at all. An utterly unknown film that won in the middle of a decade marked by musicals.
What surprised me about the movie is how historically significant it is.
The movie is set during the reign of King Henry VIII from 1529 to 1535.
This is the tragic story of Sir Thomas More. During his meeting with Cardinal Wolsey, he mentions that he is the only council member that opposes obtaining the Pope's permission to grant King Henry VIII's annulment to Catherine of Aragon as their marriage has not produced a rightful heir. If he gets annulled, he will marry Anne Boleyn and hope for another heir to prevent the War of the Roses from happening again. More does not agree with the Cardinal because it goes beyond the Church's orders. He is a devout Catholic who doesn't want to approve his annulment because marriage is a sacred obligation.
This film brought the talents of legendary actors such as Paul Schofield, Robert Shaw, Wendy Hiller, etc.
For the most part, A Man For All Seasons is a slow-burner muddled by its two-hour runtime with many ups and downs. It isn't the best pacing-wise and tends to be confusing if you don't pay close attention to the story.
What it's brilliant, though, is its last 30 minutes or so. When Thomas More stood up on his trial, trying to fight against the odds that were never in his favor. His monologue was one of the best scenes ever. Maybe it's that same scene that garnered the Best Actor award for him.
The story isn't jaw-dropping, but it is still a good film.
Overall, A Man For All Seasons is a film that should be treasured because it portrays several parts of history.
A good 3.5 out of 5 stars.