Thursday, December 30, 2010
The King's Speech
There is a lot of well deserved hype surrounding this marvellous film. It's the story of the future King George VI (Bertie to his friends) the reigning Queen Elizabeth's father, who stammers. Difficult enough for anyone to deal with, but for a possible Monarch, very bad news. Bertie has a sense that he may one day be King and has been to quite a few recommended speech therapists, to no avail. His wife, Elizabeth (a regal Helena Bonham-Carter) finds an untried therapist in Harley Street, an Australian by the name of Lionel Logue, and so begins a very different kind of friendship. When Bertie's brother David , Edward VIII (a mesmerisingly plummy Guy Pearce) abdicates for the love of Mrs Simpson, King George VI is thrust into the limelight, public speaking and all. King George, with Lionel's help overcomes adversity with astounding courage, and finds his voice. Geoffrey Rush is quite wonderful as the laconic Aussie, who insists on overstepping all the Royal boundaries to get to the person behind the throne. How can a film about something as simple as overcoming a stammer be so enthralling? Well, the acting is really superb.
If Colin Firth isn't at least nominated for a Golden statue for this, there is no Movie God. Mr D'Arcy was great in 'A Single Man', but he completely nails it as the strong, kind, frustrated and likeable King. The script is tight and often extremely funny, making the characters believable, fallable and human. The sets and photography are at times breathtaking and the whole film seems to capture the age entirely. Tom Hooper directed this masterpiece, for that is what it is, and poignantly dedicates the film to his father, who died in action in World War II. Don't miss this outstanding film. The King's Speech: Unlike most, this is one speech you will never want to end. 9.5/10.