JT Film Review

117 – The King’s Speech (2011)

The King’s Speech REVIEW

4.5/5 stars

Director – Tom Harper

Cast – Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon, Timothy Spall, Jennifer Ehle, Derek Jacobi

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The King’s Speech is about the relationship between future King of England George VI, or “Bertie” (played by Colin Firth) and his speech therapist Lionel Logue, played by Geoffrey Rush. Numerous excellent British actors appear, including Helene Bonham Carter as Bertie’s wife, the future Queen Mother, and Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill.

This is one of those movies that I would like to metaphorically curl up in front of the fire with. It is a warm-hearted movie with a well told story and excellent portrayals of well written characters. Much of the inevitable backlash directed toward this movie will probably focuses around its fairly simple and fully predictable story. This is definitely true, but it couldn’t matter less. We all know that by the end of the movie “Bertie” will be on the way to controlling his stuttering. Sure the movie ends on a note reminiscent of a sports flick. We don’t watch it for that.

Actually, the sports movie reference is rather apt, as this is a classic example of the good ol’ underdog story used so much in that genre. A person has a huge obstacle to overcome, and, through numerous trials and tribulations, said obstacle is overcome just in time for The Big Game. This movie has all that to be sure, but here we are watching the movie for the journey, not what twists or inventive story telling is used. It’s not supposed to be Pulp Fiction, just roll with it.

Not that this is exactly a cookie cutter movie, far from it. There are some interesting techniques used throughout. One of my favorite is the quite imaginative shots used throughout, both to comment on and deepen the impact of the story. My particular favorite is used whenever Bertie has to speak in public. The camera follows him from the small, quiet waiting rooms to the large halls or stadiums where he must speak. Seeing the large or imposing crowd appear in front of us shows us how it feels to talk in public, especially when one doesn’t particularly want to. In fact the cinematography in general is a very strong element of the movie.

The script is very strong as well, though I do find that for a movie that carries itself mainly on the relationship between Bertie and Logue, it veered away from that quite a bit. This was, of course, to further set up Bertie’s relationship to his brother, his new station, and royalty in general, but I still found myself yearning to get back to Logue. Part of that is because Geoffrey Rush’s characterization is so amusing in contrast to Firth’s straight and true, upper crust manner. I don’t mean to take away from Firth’s excellent acting, but Logue is probably the guy you’d want to have a beer with. Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if Firth got an Oscar for this (at the very least a nomination), and deservedly so.

OVERALL

The King’s Speech is a straight forward movie that relies on an excellent script to take you through its journey. The acting is wonderful, and the direction both wonderfully low-key and involving. While the cast may not exactly look like their counterparts too much (I must admit I found it hard to accept 43-year-old Guy Pierce as the older brother to 50-year-old Colin Firth), but that is fairly easy to look past. While it is not particularly ground breaking (nor should it be) The King’s Speech is involving and rewarding. It is a great experience, recommended to all.

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TRAILER

“The King’s Speech” on other websites:

IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia

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January 19, 2011 - Posted by | 4.5 Stars, Film Review, Genre - Drama, Year - 2010-2019 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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