Ustinov as Friedrich

Hearing of Peter Ustinov’s death last month made me think of the last film I saw him in, Luther. Amy and I watched that last August with Valerie. The film itself was pretty ordinary, not too daring, more like an exceptionally well-made docu-drama. Joseph Fiennes as Martin Luther was simply not a reconcilable image. I prefer Valerie’s idea of casting Sean Astin in the Great Reformer’s role: he has the face and the build for it.

As for Sir Peter, he was Friedrich the Wise, and he played it perfectly, as an endearing old monarch whose hapless childlikeness belied shrewd political wiles. But other than that, it was a mostly unengaging film. And that singing scene. Cringe.