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Monday, June 20, 2011

The King's Speech Colin Firth Geoffrey Rush Movie Review

Directed by Tom Hopper and Written by David Seidler, is set in England on the eve of World War Two.  Colin Firth plays King George VI who has a speech impediment that causes him great anxiety leading to stammering when speaking in public.   Geoffrey Rush plays Lionel Logue, a speech therapist hired to train the reluctant king.

This is a terrific film.  No surprises that it won so many awards.  At first I thought it would be another overly elaborate, pompous, costume flick but to my surprise it could not have been further from it.

I had also worried that it would be, well, boring.  I mean c'mon, we're talking about a royal highness who has every luxury in the world handed to him and here's a therapist trying to get his majesty over a little stuttering, right?  Wrong.   For a movie that has virtually no actions scenes, there is a tremendous suspense to the film, especially as the viewer realizes that the British resistance to Nazi Germany and perhaps the fate of the war itself, rests in King George VI ability to speak to England.

The writing and acting in the film is tremendous.  Geoffrey Rush performs beautifully.  He carries his character with great panache yet manages to remain wonderfully (somewhat) understated throughout the film. His subtle mannerisms, and hound-dog expression held my attention during every scene.

Colin Firth is terrific as well.  You can feel the anxiety of King George VI every time he opens his mouth. The scene where is struggles to tell his children a story is both heart breaking and heart warming at the same time. The final climatic scene where he gives his speech is as suspenseful as just about every sports movie ending I can think of.

Wonderful writing. The characters are neither superheros nor evil villains. They are just as vulnerable and human as the rest of us. They have good days and bad and carry the burden of all their subtle flaws.

When you watch The Kings Speech, check out how each scene is set up.  Very interesting how Tom Hopper uses tight spaces when shooting film. Congested hallways, tiny elevators, closed spaces and a film shot almost entirely indoors. Is this just because building designs were smaller at the time or is this to emphasize a man whose voice is trapped inside himself?

The Kings Speech is not without its flaws.  The film itself is very cliche. You have the struggles of a flawed teacher and an unwilling student. They come together, they drift bitterly apart, then reconcile and seize the day.  Think Good Will Hunting and you'll know what I mean. It is that sort of film. Two people from two very different worlds forced together with their own ideas and their own flaws, learning more about themselves the more they learn about each other.   What prevents The Kings Speech from being overly cliche is the subject itself is supposedly, largely, historically accurate and rather unique in itself.
This film deserved every award it received. See it sometime.

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Thanks! Please check out some of my other TurtleDog movie reviews if you get a chance

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