A Man for All Seasons is tasteful and moderately enjoyable; Robert Bolt’s dialogue is crisp, lucid, and well-spoken; the actors are generally efficient. Fred Zinnemann’s direction is placed at the service of Bolt’s material—in the manner of a good, modest stage director who does not attempt more than a faithful, respectful interpretation of the play. It’s pleasant to see a movie made with integrity and sensibility: A Man for All Seasons wasn’t that easy to do and it wasn’t “safe”—though it appears to have turned out well for all concerned. But that’s really just about all I can say for it.
The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Bad Parenting By Alice Miller Translated by Andrew Jenkins (W.W. Norton, 207 pp., $23.95) A decade or so ago, in The Culture of Complaint, Robert Hughes cited various cultural phenomena as symptoms of a rampant idiocy in American public life. He reserved particular scorn for the popular movement known as "recovery": As John Bradshaw, Melody Beattie and other gurus of the twelve-step program are quick to point out on no evidence whatsoever, 96 percent of American families are dysfunctional.
Some three years ago I wrote an article in the Saturday Evening Post on the English Monarchy. It aroused, at the time, a good deal of controversy and abuse, and even now I am occasionally asked whether I think Princess Margaret ought to have married Group Captain Townsend, or whether the Duke of Edinburgh is a good husband, as though I were some kind of expert on such questions. This is far from being the case. My knowledge of the Royal family is confined to what appears about them in newspapers and magazines.