The French Connection vs. The Lion in Winter

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on 6/4/2018

Two very opposite films with two very different economies of words and storytelling. The French Connection played like such a raw anti-film to me, scarcely possessive of a true plot, the film is almost just an all out chase, devoid of emotion. Seeing it for the first time was a revelation, particularly as I saw it theatrically before watching it anywhere else. Even seeing it 42 years after its release, it did something I never expected it to, it surprised me, which is saying something considering I had no intention of going to see the movie when I ended up walking into that theater in 2013. The Lion in Winter is a virtually unstoppable juggernaut of words and emotion, sharper than any tooth, knife or sword known to man. The French Connection does an impossible amount with the little that it is. The Lion in Winter has the burden of so many things - history, a stage play to live up to and more script than probably any film in my top 50 and it weaves it all into the Bayonne Tapestry of cinema. Even I'm impressed by that. Whoda thunk that I have two films that so improbably invoke France into their plots would land here? Vive la France et Vive Le Lion en Hiver!