Peter O'Toole received his third Oscar nomination out of eight so far for playing King Henry the second of England in the Lion in Winter. Interestingly O'Toole previously played Henry in Becket which he also received a nomination for.
The Lion in Winter is a fairly interesting film about the power struggles between Henry, his wife, and his three sons. It follows them as they argue and deceive one another in an attempt to gain power or something else. It is interesting to see where it goes and the interactions between the different characters.
Peter O'Toole is completely brilliant as Henry. O'Toole plays Henry rather differently than he did in Becket but I still believe he does in a way so it it a continuation of the character. He does not copy his original performance by any means but I think he shows the aged and tired Henry. Every scene O'Toole is on the mark. His Henry is sad man who sees he has not much time left, yet still has great ambition in his soul. He channels every facet of Henry perfectly. His scenes of argument and anger are very effective. He combats perfectly with Katherine Hepburn as his wife for some extremely effective scenes. O'Toole never goes over the top in these sequences but instead stays in the right area of realism. O'Toole has scenes that are hard to forget thanks to his performance. Such as when he describes that he never had a son, or when he "sentences" them at the end of the film. Many great scenes consist of the more subtle scene of the performance. His moments of grief over his eldest son and the "loss" of his other sons in his eyes are truly effecting. His "romantic" scenes with his wife are just as good as the big arguing scenes. Both actors such depth of their characters without relying only on the script. Both lead performances in this film are incomparable really. O'Toole has incredibly difficult character that he fully succeeds with. He shows himself like a King, but still shows the pitiful relations with his sons and his wife. Never making a single mistake O'Toole easily gets: