Royals: they’re just like us! King Haakon VII of Norway liked to play hide and seek with his grandchildren and even pretended to have conversations with his grandson’s teddy bear! I mean, he also had to decide whether or not he would give his approval to a collaborationist government during World War II, but hey, everybody’s gotta make tough decisions at work, right? (Just ask Barry Seal, who had to choose between jail and working for the CIA in American Made. Or the folks at the New York Public Library, who have to include “digital inclusion” in their debates about the future of The New York Public Library, as related in Frederick Wiseman’s latest doc, Ex Libris.)
Queen Victoria, meanwhile, got lonely in her old age and found comfort in the charms of a young servant. That he was from India mattered not a whit; he was tall and handsome! And he told her such wonderful stories. (The film version, Victoria and Abdul, is a bit understuffed, whereas the other Anglo-Indian flick currently in theaters is rather overloaded. See them both for a happy medium?)
Speaking of Kings (cue the groan), Billie Jean King took the classic claim “girls rule, boys drool” to court — the tennis court, that is. (Cue the second groan.) Battle of the Sexes tells the story. Scott didn’t think too much of it, but at least womankind came off better there than it did in the self-discovery yarn Year by the Sea. And at least no women wind up dead the way they do in The Unknown Girl. Or, for that matter, Flatliners — though we didn’t review that one.