Sunday, February 27, 2011

The King's Speech (2010)

Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helen Bonham Carter
Director: Tom Hooper

This film stars Colin Firth as the future King George VI, who suffers from a lifelong history of stuttering. When his wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) recruits an unorthodox speechtherapist named Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), he begins to realize that his speech is less a physical problem than a psychological one. As he begin to improve his abilities, he alsomanages to find his "inner voice" as he overcomes years of insecurity just in time to lead Great Britain into the Second World War.

I really don't have much to say about this movie, mostly because the plot is pretty straightforward. The only thing I can really comment on is the cast. Firth is great as the future king. In the opening scene, when he is forced to give a speech in front of an enormous crowd, you can see and feel the hesitation in his voice and appearance and you instantly feel sympathy toward him; he is like a small child suffering from stage fright. Geoffrey Rush is great as well. As Logue, he treats George, whom he calls "Bertie" (the royal is still Prince Albert when they first meet) barely any differently than anyone else and comes up with unique ways to get him to calm his nerves (my favorite part is the "swearing routine"). Helena Bonham Carter's role as the future Queen is relatively small, but she does well, and the same goes for Guy Pearce as King Edward VIII.

The one I really enjoyed, however, was King George V, played by Michael Gambon: he is a proud and majestic ruler who perfectly represents the now-deceased Victorian era that he grew up in. He lectures his son on the importance of keeping up with the times, though his angrydemeanor gives the impression that he himself would rather not have to deal with the "lowly" modern world. And as shown by the way he treats talks his sons, he is not a very nice guy (have to give credit to Gambon for having versatility; after all, he is mostly for playing Dumbledore in the "Harry Potter" films).

The only disappointment in this whole production was Winston Churchill, played by Timothy Spall.Granted, he only has a few scenes and he was really just there for show if anything else, but I still felt like they could have done better. I mean, its Winston Churchill for crying out loud! This is no offence to Spall; I am sure he has had better performances, like he did in...the "Harry Potter" films. Okay, seriously, what is with all the "Harry Potter" cast members? You got Carter, Gambon, and Spall. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if Hitler were to get replaced by Lord Voldemort!But I digress...

Overall, the film is very well done. I am not going to get into a whole thing about what was factually accurate or not, nor and I going to get into whether it will/should win the Academy Award for Best Picture at the Oscars tonight (I will address that issue here: I am just focusing on what it is, which is a solid, entertaining movie. I recommend it.