The Lost King

Directed by: Stephen Frears
Distributed by: IFC Films

Written by Jeff Sparks


At the beginning of “The Lost King,” Philippa Langley quits her office job after being passed over for a promotion by the higher-ups of the corporate machine that rules over her. She takes matters into her own hands by embarking on a journey to find the lost remains of King Richard III. And after years of work, she finally accomplishes her goal, only to have the credit stolen by another corporate machine. 

The great Sally Hawkins who is reliable as ever plays Philippa in this film that’s based on a true story. The search for the remains was no simple task. With few actual clues, Philippa relied more on her gut feelings than definitive evidence. While that obstacle is dumbed down a bit in the film, the endless search to get resources for the hunt isn’t. Many scenes detail Philippa pleading with excavators and councils just to get a meeting. When she finally gets an operation going she struggles to maintain control from the University of Leicester who slither in to take credit for the findings.

Like the way Philippa goes against the odds, the film goes against the grain by portraying this big University in a bad light. The University has proclaimed its portrayal in the film as inaccurate and has threatened legal action. Because she’s an executive producer on this film, the real Philippa has been able to make her voice heard and tell her side of the story, something that can’t be said for the majority of people who have been silenced by corporate beasts like the University. 

The plot of the film may be about the finding of a King, but to me, “The Lost King” is about the power of corporations in our society. Even though Philippa has gotten the credit she deserved, that may not have happened. In the film, she started out under the boot of a corporation and ended up the same way after years of hard work. The unfortunate reality is that no matter how far you come, sometimes the more things change the more they stay the same.

“The Lost King” Trailer

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