Sunday, January 9, 2011

The King's Speech - movie review

My husband and I went to see The King's Speech today. I've been eagerly waiting to see this movie and it has finally (!) opened in the UK. At last I know why everyone who's seen it has been raving about how good it is! It's true. It's simply splendid.

The King's Speech is a wonderful feel-good movie based on a powerful (true) story about how Prince Albert (known as "Bertie" to his family) or the Duke of York, had to overcome his speech impediment (stammering) so he could make all the necessary speeches to the British people, particularly after his brother David abdicated the throne, and he (reluctantly) became King.

Colin Firth is perfect in the title role and IMHO it will be a crime if he doesn't win an Oscar for Best Actor in the 2011 Academy Awards. His portrayal is amazing. His stammer is very realistic, and he shows such raw emotion in every scene that it's hard not to be moved while watching his character struggle to speak. A real class act.

Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue, the Australian speech therapist hired to help the Duke of York (and eventual King) is equally as good. I should think he will be nominated for Best Supporting Actor and could quite possibly win it. His acting, as always, was fabulous but he really made this role his own.

Helena Bonham Carter is spot-on as Elizabeth, wife to King George VI. She plays the devoted wife and shows so much emotion in a simple gaze or the way she tilts her head. An outstanding performance.

Jennifer Ehle portrays Myrtle Logue, the wife of Lionel Logue. Most people will remember Jennifer as Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice in which her co-star was Colin Firth. This time Jennifer does an Aussie accent instead of the flawless English accent she did in P & P.

The child actors who portray Princess Elizabeth (Freya Wilson) and Princess Margaret (Ramona Marquez) are also wonderful.

The movie also stars Derek Jacobi as Archbishop Cosmo Lang, Michael Gambon as King George V, Claire Bloom as Queen Mary, Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill, and Anthony Andrews as Stanley Baldwin.

The movie portrays the royals as real human beings and puts an interesting slant on the events that rocked the monarchy when King Edward VIII (David) abdicated the throne so he could marry the American divorcee, Wallis Simpson. Edward VIII (Guy Pearce) is portrayed in the movie as a selfish, weak and immature man, and it's easy to see, if the characterization is true, that he really was unsuited to be King anyway.

At the heart of the movie, is a story about friendship and overcoming adversity.
It really is a fabulous movie. I can't say enough good things about it. Superb acting by all especially by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. Go see it.

Related posts:
The King's Speech ruled at the Academy Awards!
BAFTA: The King's Speech won seven awards!

14 comments:

  1. Good to see that you enjoyed it, and I should be going to see it in a week or two! Flighty xx

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  2. It's a wonderful movie, Flighty! I'm sure you will enjoy it too.

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  3. looking forward to going to see this too :)

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  4. I promise you won't be disappointed.

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  5. I saw it in the US about two weeks ago. I agree entirely with your enthusiasm about the acting. I wondered if it would be seen in the UK as true -- I can't help thinking you have more opinions about the royals than we do in the US -- well more informed opinions anyway. Nice to know we're in agreement. Colin Firth just won a Golden Globe for best actor, as you may know by now.

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  6. Pamela Terry and Edward, I agree!

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  7. June, that's a good point - most Brits know more about the history of the royal family than most Americans do. However, this slant on the story about the close relationship between the Australian speech therapist and the Duke of York (eventually to be King) is new to most people, even the British, so I think that's the reason is it so popular. That plus the outstanding acting by the whole cast, especially Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush.

    I'm so pleased Colin Firth won Best Actor for The King's Speech at the Golden Globe awards! His portrayal of King George VI was superb. It's a shame Geoffrey Rush didn't win an award for Best supporting actor. Both actors were utterly convincing in their roles.

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  8. Great post Maureen. We loved it! We watched The Lost Prince last night and enjoyed that too. I am hooked on English period dramas these days.
    Can't get enough of them. Thought you might enjoy this Vanity Fair article on the creation of the set design for the movie.

    Best wishes...
    Jeanne

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  9. Speaking of Golden Globes....I thought Colin Firth's acceptance speech was one of the best, from the heart and a refreshing change from the rest. Agree with you on Geoffrey Rush...he is brilliant in everything he does and was superb in this role.

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  10. sorry...and this too...

    http://www.vanityfair.com/online/oscars/2011/01/from-sketch-to-still-a-visual-history-of-the-kings-speech-sets-and-costumes.html

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  11. Hi Jeanne, thanks for providing the link to the Vanity Fair article! Very interesting. It makes me appreciate the movie even more.

    I agree with you about your view of Colin Firth's acceptance speech at the Golden Globes. I saw that clip from the award show on the news, and I was very impressed with his speech too.

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  12. CINEMA Deserved the Oscars! Colin Firth was SUPERB! And the film itself as well. Absolutely fabulous :)

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