Saturday, January 15, 2011

Movie Review: The King’s Speech (2010)


The must-see-movie of 2010 has to be The King’s Speech. It’s a stunningly accomplished production with a gripping story of two men absolutely determined to overcome the profound speech impediment of one of them.

The Duke of York, ‘Bertie’ (Colin Firth), has been thrust into power at almost a moment’s notice after his brother (a surprisingly good Guy Pearce) abdicates rather than give up his relationship with a divorced woman. Like all regents, a great deal of public speaking is required as part of the office. But King George VI suffers from a very serious speech impediment that makes it almost impossible for him to string a sentence together making for some very embarrassing moments – especially in the new era of radio that made mass communication possible. The serious stammer began when Bertie was 4 or 5 years old and plagued him ever since. As a result, Bertie is not considered suitable to be king. So Bertie engages the assistance of an unorthodox speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), to help him overcome his impediment. Together, during an unexpected and enduring friendship, the two men work on Bertie’s problem with some very funny, sad, terrifying, dramatic moments. The King’s Speech is the story of this friendship and the incredible perseverance that helped King George become the king he needed to be.

The King’s Speech is an almost perfect movie. Everything about it is brilliant. It is a deeply moving human story. Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter (who plays Queen Elizabeth, Bertie’s wife), and Derek Jacobi (playing Archbishop Cosmo Lang) are superb in their roles. Firth, Rush, and Carter are  very real contenders for Oscars and it wouldn’t be a surprise to me if the movie took out Best Picture. The script is smart as a whip and the sets and costumes superb.

The King’s Speech is a stunning piece of story-telling and is one movie you must not miss!


Positive Review
'It's a fine, absorbing work, built with brilliance and without excessive showiness or flash. It feels, in fact, like a classic virtually upon its arrival.' – Shawn Levy/Portland Oregan

Negative Review
'Obvious, though, is the word for Hopper's direction. It amplifies to rock-concert level every pained plosive in Bertie's speech, forces certain characters dangerously close to caricature.’ – Richard Corliss/Time

AUS: M (coarse language)
USA: R (some language)

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