Lion in Winter Reviews
Only Roger Howarth References are included.
From the Hartford Courant:
Mayer opens with a passionless scene between Henry and the unfortunate Emily Bergl, whose Alais is even more undernourished than her Rachel in "The Rage: Carrie 2." Then the pusillanimous poster boy John of the scruffy, greasy-haired Keith Nobbs and the slippery, effete and self-pitying Geoffrey of the expressionless Neal Huff are up, followed by the dashing but clumsy Lionheart of Chuma Hunter-Gault (in modified dreadlocks yet). Channing then arrives to play vengeful wife and emcee, with Roger Howarth bringing a haughty reserve to Philip, who turns out to have been seduced by Richard.
From Daily Variety:
Everything in the film conspired to elevate the material: the authentic accents from a cast that included Timothy Dalton as the French prince Philip, the atmospheric location filming and John Barry's surging score, the near-hysterical performances that gave a jolt of psychological depth to the backstabbing shenanigans. (Even the trendy-feeling homosexual liaison between Richard and Philip rang true, thanks to Hopkins; it's laughable here.)
The rest of the lackluster cast struggles with varying levels of success to stand out against David Gallo's mud-colored set and to retain their dignity in Michael Krass' unimaginative and sometimes unflattering costumes. (Poor Roger Howarth as Philip plays his gay love scene in wispy linen shift and beige suede boots, an ensemble you might see pictured in Glamour magazine with the word "DON'T!" in screaming type beneath it.)
From The Financial Times (London Edition):
Fishburne's best moments are on his near-throwaway lines - in beleaguered encounters with his lover Alais, and, particularly, in his scene with Philip, the French noble who has come to Chinon to talk diplomacy. Before Henry arrives in the Frenchman's chambers, Philip has secreted Richard, his former lover, behind his bedcurtains. When Philip and Henry's wrangling reaches a flash-point, Richard springs forth, and behaves as if the revelation of his homosexual liaison will shock the monarch. Fishburne, however, is admirably unflappable; sex, his expression seems to say, is the least of it.
From The New York Times:
Mr. Fishburne at least registers as a solid presence, which
is more than can be said for the rest of the cast. In addition to Ms. Bergl as Alais,
Henry's young mistress, there are Keith Nobbs, Neal Huff and Chuma Hunter-Gault as Henry
and Eleanor's three sons, John, Geoffrey and Richard Lionheart; and Roger Howarth as
Philip, the young King of France and Richard's one-time lover.
Aside from Mr. Nobbs, who does his usual Generation-X splutter as the peevish, adolescent John, these performers seem to have made no definite choices as to what they think their characters are or how they should behave, and Mr. Mayer has offered no discernible guidance here.
From the Associated Press:
As the three sons, Chuma Hunter-Gault, Neal Huff and Keith Nobbs are distinctive types: Hunter-Gault all-bluster as Richard, Huff all-conniving as Geoffrey and Nobbs all-whining as John. Roger Howarth effectively insinuates himself into their lives as the sexually ambiguous Philip.
From the Bergen Record (Hackensack, NJ):
The younger actors, though, give minor-league performances, and that includes Roger Howarth, as Philip of France. The one exception is Emily Bergl, who plays Alais, Henry's youthful mistress and the intended bride of one of his sons, although it hasn't been decided which one.
From the N.Y. Post:
As the French king Philip, Roger Howarth moves convincingly from a boyish clumsiness to a power-hungry maturity more worthy of Henry than any quality in his own sons.
''I never loved you,'' sneers this changed Philip to his ex-lover in the English royal family.