Sunday, January 2, 2011

The King's Speech

I usually don’t do movie reviews because I know so little about film. Regina Jeffers, who did study film, has been discussing some of the Austen adaptations on Austen Authors, and I am amazed by the things I missed. Like most people, I go to the movies for the pure enjoyment of seeing a good movie, and I like a film or I don't like it. It might be just okay or a possible future DVD purchase. But The King's Speech is different. Even if I wasn't interested in wartime Britain, I would have found the movie compelling. Here is a man, the son and brother of a king, but someone never meant to be king, and because of that, few care that Bertie stutters badly. But then history forces him to the forefront. With the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII, in 1938, so that he might marry Wallace Simpson, Bertie becomes king, and it could not have happened at a worse time. Hitler has forced the Czechs to give up the Sudetenland, and then marched in to take control of the now undefended Czechoslovakia. War is on the horizon, and George VI knows that his nation will look to their king for guidance and leadership. They will need to hear the king’s voice.

This is where speech therapist Lionel Logue comes in. The two begin a journey filled with pain, humiliation, and tireless determination. But in the end, because of their joint efforts, the king is able to address his nation after war with Germany has been declared, and he knows many more speeches are in his future. The result of this collaboration: a friendship that lasts a lifetime.

Colin Firth as George VI and Geoffrey Rush as Logue are absolutely brilliant, but so is Helena Bonham Carter, as Queen Elizabeth, the wife of the king, who does most of her acting with her eyes and her body. But the star of the movie is the brilliant script. It is witty, sad, happy, heartbreaking, and in the end, victorious. I almost expected the people in the theater to stand up and start singing God Save the King. This is absolutely one of the best movies I have seen in a very long time.

11 comments:

  1. I think I will go and see this, Mary. Thanks for your comments about it.

    Tony

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  2. Great review of this movie! I intend to see it myself, so it is really nice to hear a very positive review.

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  3. My husband and I both thought it was one of the best movies we'd seen in a long time as well. It deserves all the Oscar nominations it will get, and any it wins. The acting was exceptional and the script was as good as you said.

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  4. I knew you would love this one Mary. I can't wait for the DVD now so I can watch it again at home, although I may have to go and see it again in the theatre. Maybe my excuse will be to take my sons....
    Happy New Year and congrats on you new novel's release.

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  5. Lovely movie. It's intelligent, witty and sincere. A bromance, if you will.

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  6. I wanted to see it but it's rated "R". Why is that? What is it I'm not expecting?

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  7. This movie was so awesome!!! I throughly enjoyed it. It made me laugh and also was very poignant! Colin Firth was amazing. I want to see it again. BTY Susan it's rated R because there is some profanity. Thaough that particular scene was funny!!!
    charlene

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  8. Suzan, The king uses the "f" word repeatedly as a way to release tension. But that is it! You wouldn't want to miss a great film b/c of that!

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  9. I haven't heard one negative about this movie. The acting is brilliant! I loved Helena Bonham Carter. She stood by her man, and the little princesses were adorable.

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  10. Colin Firth was on Jon Stewart last night and he said the writer for the movie contacted the Queen Mum many, many years ago about writing a script about George's life during the time of WWII. She gave her permission, but asked that he wouldn't do so until she had passed away because it was a very difficult time for her and her family. So he waited and waited and waited, since the Queen Mum lived to a ripe old age and once she passed, he got started writing and from what I'm hearing and reading has written a wonderful & brilliant script.. Just a tidbit I though you'd might find interesting.

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  11. Carole, Very interesting. Thanks. Mary

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