I Served the King of England

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Released 2006

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Movie Summary

Director:
Jiri Menzel
Released:
2006
Rating:
R
I Served the King of England is a film about Jan (Ivan Barnev), an ambitious busboy. Jan uses his quick wits to find work as a waiter, surrounded by the wealthy and powerful. Jan grows increasingly determined to leave his days of waiting tables in the past. He discovers that he can use his good looks to his advantage, taking on a series of lovers. Through his travels, Jan eventually lands in Prague during an era of growing unrest. He becomes the apprentice of Skrivanek (Martin Huba), a maitre d' with grand stories. As the threat of the Third Reich spreads over Prague, Jan remains uninterested in the horrors of World War II and focuses only on himself. He marries Lisa (Julia Jentsch), an enterprising young woman with a great admiration for Hitler. Falling prey to corruption and greed, the couple attempts to exploit the events of the war for their own gain. As the war draws to a close, Jan must come to terms with his own selfish nature and the price he will pay for wealth and social stature.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Variety Eddie Cockrell

    A virtual primer on the unique mixture of self-deprecating dark humor and personal tragedy that has been the Czech cinema's stock-in-trade since their celebrated 1960s New Wave.

  • 70

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    The performance of Mr. Barnev, who has the poker face and agility of a silent clown, defines the style of a film whose timing and physical comedy look back to 1920s slapstick.

  • 50

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    The new film is so leisurely paced and overly long that what means to be at once charming yet darkly satirical lapses into tedium and barely comes alive.

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    Categories

    Comedy, Drama

    Themes

    Foreign Language