The King's Speech
- Director: Tom Hooper
- Genre: Biopic, Drama
- Details: UK/TBC TBC
The film opens with Colin Firth's King George VI (not yet a King) struggling to give a speech to a packed Wembley stadium in the early 30s. His stammer creates a deafening silence around the stadium as he struggles to get out the words. His loyal wife, Queen Elizabeth (a thankfully subdued Bonham Carter) manages to find a speech therapist with a proven track record - but unconventional methods. Over several years Firth's put upon King and Geoffrey Rush's eccentric, but pioneering almost-shrink come to be unlikely friends.
While The King's Speech doesn't get under the skin of anyone other than Firth's monarch, it still boasts universally excellent performances that are more concerned with fitting into the production naturally than showboating. Firth in particular is very good; the stammer would've been milked by lesser actors, but the man who was eye-totty Darcy does the majority of his fine work in the panic-ridden moments before an important address. It is his best performance to date, and he deserves the plaudits already flowing his way.
Kudos too to Rush, whose speech therapist could easily have come off as a parody of Doc Brown if played overly ostentatious. He's funny when he's supposed to be, but never overtly so. Scenes are made better by his breezy but substantial presence, and the laughs are organic to the type of source material that is normally uppity to say the least.
Credit then to The Damned Utd helmer Hooper for his steady, open direction, that doesn't fall into the pitfalls of the - often crusty - modern made period piece. He also shoots a surprisingly striking film, with 1930s London engulfed in mist and pushy figures.
An interesting, engaging biopic elevated even further by strong performances.
Review by Mike Sheridan | 09:00 | Friday 17th December 2010 | Movie Review
Kudos to Wright? Surely you mean Rush!Posted 22:33 | Tue 4th Jan 2011
Brilliant film. Firth's George VI was even better than his Mark Darcy. He was very believable as a man suffering from a frustrating stammer as well as the obligations that come with his job as king. Geoffrey Rush was also brilliant. By the end of the film, I wanted to see it all over again.Posted 20:33 | Sun 9th Jan 2011
This is an above-average biopic, with strong performances from the lead actors Colin Firth, Helena Bonham-Carter and Geoffrey Rush. But the skill of the people behind the camera made it such a good movie to watch. The direction, script and editing were superb. I was riveted to the screen until the credits rolled. Go see it now!Posted 18:07 | Mon 10th Jan 2011
This was fantastic. Firth should get the nod for the Oscar not only for this but for being horribly overlooked last year.Posted 19:23 | Mon 10th Jan 2011
It was absolutely brilliant.Posted 10:03 | Tue 11th Jan 2011
It is fifteen years since a sodden Colin Firth (as Mr. Darcy) stepped out of a lake in Pride and Prejudice and entered the ranks of British beefcake. It is perhaps symbolic of how far his career has progressed in the interim that his co-star in that series, Jennifer Ehle, plays a minor role in The King's Speech, while Firth stars as George VI (or Bertie as he is known before he becomes king). Of course, Firth is physically unsuited to play the rather gaunt-looking monarch, but he more than makes up for it with his superb performance. In the smallest flicker and gesture he manages to convey every childhood taunt inflicted on the young royal, every harsh word from his father, and every indignity suffered because of his bad stammer. It is a master class in film acting and fully deserving of every award that comes his way. As the film shows, voice teacher Lionel Logue was well able to confront his royal client on equal terms. So too does co-star Geoffrey Rush, in his portrayal of Logue, rise to the challenge of matching Firth's stellar acting with a bravura performance of his own. Where Firth is nervy and weighed down as Bertie, Rush is calm and almost light-hearted in response. Several scenes are essentially two-handers between the two men and they are the most riveting parts of the film. Which is not to deny the wonderful supporting cast their due, especially Helena Bonham-Carter as Queen Elizabeth, the future Queen Mother. She gives a wonderfully-nuanced performance of a devoted wife who is also aware of her exalted position in society. In the script, her part is not terribly well developed but Bonham-Carter fills it with a seamless depiction of a woman who combined charm and rock-like resolve to get what she wanted. As with The Queen, starring Helen Mirren, The King's Speech does not shy away from presenting the less savoury aspects of British royalty. Yet the overall impression is a positive one and the film will no doubt find favour in Buckingham Palace. The only discordant note comes at the end when, for some strange reason, the music of the German composer Beethoven is used to accompany a scene where it could not be less appropriate. Perhaps it was an in-joke at the expense of the Windsors' Teutonic background?Posted 22:18 | Wed 12th Jan 2011
Really, really enjoyed this film. My 11 year old and I both enjoyed it. Well written and acted. Interesting story well told. go enjoyPosted 21:39 | Sun 23rd Jan 2011
I really enjoyed this movie. It will appeal to anyone who has wanted to perform or speak in public but felt aprehension. Great stuff.Posted 20:06 | Mon 24th Jan 2011
Whatever else you go to see this year don't miss this superb film. Colin Firth is amazing and I will be amazed if he does not get an Oscar for his excellent preformance.Posted 23:31 | Tue 25th Jan 2011
I think the movie is over rated, but certainly a good watch. Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Mother does an excellent job. I think I would rate it 8 out of 10. Should it get an oscar? Not sure.Posted 14:19 | Sat 5th Feb 2011
Colin Firth has admitted that he is still stammering when he stands to give a speech... the acting in this film has stayed with him & is affecting his speech.... poor actors the things that they do!!Posted 20:08 | Sun 6th Feb 2011
A great true stort. enjoyed it and so will you.Posted 09:36 | Wed 13th Apr 2011
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