Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The King's Speech

The King's Speech
Originally uploaded by Naír la jefa
I will be the first to admit that I know nothing about British history. I guess I have a good excuse for it as I’m a citizen of a country that revolted from British control and won. However, because of my father’s obsession with WWII I have a more than healthy knowledge of the war and rather enjoy movies about it.

Set as England was on the verge of entering the second world war, The King’s Speech follows the man that will eventually become King George VI as his brother is made king, knowing that his brother may be forced off the throne and he would be the next in line. Known as Bertie to his family, the prince has no interest in becoming king, but also knows that he may not have a way to avoid it and since the “wireless” has changed how the monarchy must interact with the people Bertie is forced into constant speech therapy to attempt to lose his stammer. However, as he walks out on lesson after lesson, Bertie finally ends up with an unconventional speech therapist in Lionel Logue.

I did not expect to love this movie, but I did. From the direction and cinematography to the two leads I found it absolutely flawless. Geoffrey Rush & Colin Firth are perfect and I am glad that Firth is finally getting some acting love after his work the past few years. I also quite enjoyed how the camera angles and shots would get tighter and more exaggerated as Bertie’s tension level would raise – its’ a bit stylized but truly adds to the feel of the film and Bertie’s emotional state.

This film just won the PGA award, and while I’m not sure that will garner it Best Picture at the Oscars this year, I do think it speaks very well of the diversity of films released this year. I’ve never seen another WWII film take quite the angle that The King’s Speech Does, and the only other film I can think of that takes a raw look inside the monarchy is The Queen - it could be my love of Firth or WWII history, but I rather think that The King’s Speech will remain much more relevant to audiences than The Queen.

Director: Tom Hooper

Elizabeth: My husband's work involves a great deal of public speaking.
Lionel: Then he should change jobs.
Elizabeth: He can't.
Lionel: What is he, an indentured servant?
Elizabeth: Something like that

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