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Monday, February 28, 2011

Mini-Movie Review: The King's Speech

If you're a history buff, an anglophile, or someone who really enjoys brilliant acting, you'll want to see The King's Speech. Colin Firth was amazing. He had to get Best Actor at the Oscars. The man had no equal. 

Firth was sublime. He was so believable as the timid, self-conscious king that you couldn't help but mouth the words for him as he stammered his way through day to day conversations. That had to be one of the toughest roles any actor has ever been asked to play.

And Geoffrey Rush. My God. He cannot make a bad movie. The whole cast was impressive, but at its core, the movie belonged to Firth and Rush. You empathized completely with a man plagued by a disability that would crush a lesser soul. Colin Firth delivered such a stunning performance I will now watch him in anything. He's that good.

Here's the synopsis from the web site:  After the death of his father King George V and the abdication of King Edward VIII, Bertie (Colin Firth) who suffers from a debilitating speech impediment, is suddenly crowned King George VI of England. With his country on the brink of war and in desperate need of a leader, his wife, Elizabeth, the future Queen Mother, arranges for her husband to see an eccentric speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush).

Be forewarned that this is not an action movie. There are no explosions or chase scenes. It's a movie about subtlety and affliction and courage. The dialog is clever and witty. The characterizations are sharply drawn and the tension is palpable. It's a quiet film that examines character, peeling the layers from King George VI (and his family) like an onion. 

I have a passion for people with bull dog determination, and both Bertie and Colin Firth delivered in spades.

I can highly recommend this movie. Have you seen it--or plan to? What did you think? Any favorite parts?

29 comments:

Darke Conteur said...

I knew this movie was going to be brilliant at award season back at TIFF. Unfortunately, they don't keep movies (even the good ones) in the theatre's long enough, so now I have to wait for PPV.

Shirley Wells said...

I loved every second of this movie. Every single second!

J.K. Coi said...

I really want to see this, but so far haven't had a chance. Ugh. Anyone want to babysit?

Jennifer Shirk said...

I just heard Firth won the Oscar. (yay!!)
But I haven't seen the movie. It's on my to be seen list. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Dark Conteur: I had to drive 45 minutes to the closest theater that was playing this one. They normally don't keep movies long here either, but I guess with the Oscar buzz they kept this one.

Shirley: I think my favorite scene was when Queen Elizabeth went to inquire about Lionel's services. :)

JK, Jennifer:
You will not be disappointed. I went with a friend rather than Greg because I think it would be too slow for him. (He likes explosions. lol) But it's truly inspiring.

Ellie said...

Yay for Colin winning the Oscar - well deserved! I saw the film three weeks ago and there was no doubt it would win the best film award. It was a masterpiece in casting, script and acting.

Angelina Rain said...

I’ve never seen it, but I plan to. I don’t remember the last time I went to the movies.

Angela Felsted said...

Love Colin Firth. He's my ideal leading man and was the perfect Mr. Darcy in the bbc's version of Pride and Prejudice. A real class act.

Joanne said...

I haven't seen this movie, but I do love films filled with those subtleties you mention, the characterization and layers. For me, those traits make the very best movies, really depicting life well.

Sarita said...

I have a very short list of movies I want to see. This one is at the top of that list. Good to hear you enjoyed it so much!

Maria Zannini said...

Ellie: I'd been wanting to see it from the start but I knew hubby wouldn't enjoy it. Though to his credit he did offer to take me on Valentine's Day--too bad I was too sick to go. LOL.

Angelina: Our movie watching has declined a lot the past two years. But I'm glad I caught this one.

Angela: Oh! I loved him as Darcy. No one else has done that character as well as Firth.

Joanne: Definitely put this one on the list. You'll like this one.

Sarita: I'm normally kind of hard on movies, so you can tell how much I enjoyed this one. :) Glad to see you again, Sarita!

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

I want to see this SO BAD!
I'll probably have to wait until it's available on netflix

Rula Sinara said...

I love Colin Firth and I've heard so many great things about this movie. I can't wait to see it!

Mike Keyton said...

If I had a pound for every office with a large picture of Colin Firth as Darcy, walking out of that bloody lake with his shirt dripping close to his body, I'd be a very rich man. But everyone's right. He is very good. Less keen on the rom-coms

Sherri said...

So on my to-see list! I've wanted to see it since it first came out but alas, gotting out to the movies is hard :) Yay for Netflix, LOL

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I haven't seen it yet, but I plan to. Love Colin Firth ever since Pride and Prejudice.

Robert Guthrie said...

My favorite parts were the grace of Helen Bonham Carter as the queen with Rush and his wife.

Krista D. Ball said...

"Tits."

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: I need to figure out how to hook up Netflix on my tv. There is too many movies I miss and Netflix would be perfect.

Rula: Everything they said was true. I didn't believe the hype at first. But it was a darn good movie.

Mike: :grin: Some of you Brits are darn cute, especially when wet.

Maria Zannini said...

Sherri: I imagine it's a logistics nightmare to go out on a real date with hubby.

Barbara: Not to be missed, especially if you're a Firth fan.

Robert: I loved all the scenes with Helena Bonham Carter. She was amazing in that role.

Krista: You're incorrigible! LOL. It took me a while to figure out your comment too. ;-)

Linda Leszczuk said...

I really wanted to see this when it was in the theaters but never managed to. Thank goodness for Netflix. I still have a chance.

Dru said...

Am I the only one who doesn't want to see this movie? Nothing against Colin Firth, but I like action movies and musicals.

Maria Zannini said...

Linda: I have to get Netflix. :(

Dru: Generally, I prefer action movies, but I kept hearing so much about this movie from people I trusted, I had to give it a try.

It was worth it.

Liz Fichera said...

Oooh, I had to gloss over this post because I haven't seen the movie yet. I love films like this. Looking forward to it coming to DVD.

Cate Masters said...

It's on my wish list. The brilliant cast alone is a draw, but it's great to see a movie with a subtle message enjoy such success (though I recently watched RED and loved it, so the occasional action movie makes for a good escape too).

Melissa McClone said...

I really want to see it. It's also a movie I want my 10 yo to see when he's older. Or maybe after I've previewed it. He doesn't stutter but has another speech issue. Thought he might find this interesting.

Maria Zannini said...

Liz: Not to worry. There aren't any spoilers in the review. It's a little hard to spoil historical events anyway. :o)


Cate: Agh!! I loved RED! Loved it. But then it spoke my language. Old people with guns--and they're not afraid to use them. LOL. I tend toward action films, but every so often, a quiet film is nice.


Melissa: You might want to wait for your son to see it. There is a lot of cursing, but to be fair, it was necessary. It illustrated a very key element about the king's impediment.

I heard only today that the studios are thinking of releasing a version of this movie without the swear words, but I think that would be a great injustice. It needs the cursing. They're not said to be malicious or for titillation, but they were necessary.

Tony Benson said...

I haven't seen this movie yet, but I'm really looking forward to it. thank you for an interesting review.

Maria Zannini said...

Tony: I thought it was a very fair and honest portrayal.