Thursday, May 29, 2014

Best Picture: "The King's Speech," 2010

Movie Stats:
Released 2010 (USA)
American, British & Australian, in English (some brief non-translated German)
Director - Tom Hooper
Stars - Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter

Plot Summary:
Based on true events, when British Prince Albert, aka “Bertie” (Firth), later to become King George VI, is pressured to perform as a public speaker, he turns to  diction coach Lionel Logue (Rush) to help him overcome his prominent stutter. Carter co-stars as Bertie’s devoted wife, Elizabeth.

A significant amount of blue language.

Bad Stuff:
I don’t have any serious complaints about this film. At the beginning, Firth and Carter are both obviously older than the people they’re playing, which is something that my brain has a hard time letting go of. However, I understand that it would be more distracting if they used different actors for younger Bertie & Elizabeth.

Good Stuff:
The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous. There were several scenes that took my breath away.

Fantastic acting. The first time I saw this, I was most impressed by Rush. This time around, it struck me how amazing Firth is. Every scene that he’s in, you can sense what Bertie is feeling, even when he doesn’t speak: his frustration and shame and rage in regards to his stutter, his reluctance to become king, and his love for his wife and children. Carter is great too. I love her in understated roles.

Great soundtrack & the costumes are wonderful.

The Verdict:
I could see why this film wouldn’t be appealing to everyone, especially people who have no interest in the British monarchy, or in history in general (because it has just as much to do with WWII as it does the British monarchy). However, it’s so much more than it appears to be on the surface. This is a film about love and friendship, perseverance and courage, and about doing what we must, even when it’s not what we wish to do. I find it incredibly moving. When I saw it in the theater, I loved it, but I was half-convinced it would be boring a second time around. It wasn’t. It’s sweet and it’s touching. I could see myself watching it at least once a year, and I’d probably get verklempt each time.

I give the film 4.25 stars.


Patricia said...

Okay, I would swear this movie JUST came out. Seriously! 2010? Where does the time go.

Aside from all the complaining by the general complainers that it was Oscar bait, I liked this movie a lot. If they are going to make Oscar bait, why not make it enjoyable Oscar bait?

balyien said...

I hear people cry "Oscar bait" about this winner more than any other. It's so strange. I suspect that people would have preferred "Black Swan" (talk about Oscar bait, sheesh) or "Inception" win this year. Personally, I wasn't a big fan of either of those movies and feel that "The King's Speech" was superior to both. Oh well. Like I always say, different strokes for different folks.