Sat 1 Jan 2011
Enter The King’s Speech, which ups the Oscar attraction by being a period British historical drama with some comedic relief. This is catnip for catnip–– Hollywood is well-stocked with Anglophiles who swoon for all things British, and this film will certainly attract Oscar consideration and nominations like cat fur to wool.
It’s a true tale well-told with meticulous art direction and costuming supporting wonderful acting, writing and directing. That said, I hope it doesn’t run away with gold statuettes. It’s very good, well crafted throughout, but hardly the standout film of the year.
The King’s Speech is the incredible story of King George VI, a man who kept a stiff upper lip that unfortunately stammered badly, and how he overcame this adversity with the help of an Aussie speech therapist, and went on to speak to a nation- and for a nation – during wartime.
Oh, it’s got it all, this one does: superb performances by Colin Firth as Albert, nicknamed ‘Bertie’ and father of QEII, the man who would be King, and Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue, his teacher/confidant/friend in a story that’s almost too good to be true, made better by the fact that it is true. The throne comes to Albert (King George VI) after his older brother, Edward, abdicated the crown to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced yank. Thus, the younger brother gets the hand-me-down crown and the heavy responsibilities of leadership.
A few years after, Hitler declares war on Britain and bada-bing, the stuttering, stammering royal must now face his nation with a confident voice. King George VI is Rocky, Lionel Logue is Mickey (Burgess Meredith), his trainer in the corner encouraging him on, and the microphone is Apollo Creed.
Ding-ding–– it’s showtime. Guess who wins?
The King’s Speech is a must-see movie and deserves lots of attention and maybe a little Oscar love, but I hope Hollywood doesn’t go ga-ga for it. We had better films last year.