Movie: The Lost King

The University of Leicester is not at all pleased at how they were depicted in this film, which tells the story of the discovery of the grave of Richard III in a car park. Using maps and original sources, amateur historian Philippa Langley becomes convinced that Richard’s body was buried in what had been Greyfriars Priory. She is confirmed in her ‘feeling’ that the body is there by frequent apparitions of Richard III himself. After joining the Richard III Society, she approaches the archaeology department at University of Leicester who initially dismiss her claims, only to pick them up again when it seems that their university funding is going to be cut. When a body is not found immediately, her funders drop out and she turns to crowdsourcing instead among Richard III aficionados world wide. However, the University of Leicester is quick to take credit when a body is found that turns out to be Richard III. The dispute between Langley and the University of Leicester continues.

It must be hard to tell a story when right from the start everyone knows that the body was found and that it was Richard III. Lee Ingleby plays a suitably greasy university administrator and bean-counter, and Sally Hawkins plays a vulnerable but driven young woman. But certainly the University has been damaged by this film: I found myself raising an eyebrow at the recent news of the discovery of a Roman mosaic in Rutland- something that I would never have taken notice of previously. But I found my credulity stretched by the apparitions scenes and the baddies seemed over-written.

My rating: 3 starts

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