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Saturday, December 18, 2010



You can watch the trailer here

Whenever I go into a film that's considered to be one of the year's best and a front-runner for the Oscar race, I always go into the theater trying to push all the hype out of my mind and view the film objectively. Sometimes, when a movie is as good as advertised, it's easy to do because you can just lose yourself in the movie. On occasion, you'll get a movie that doesn't live up to its hype, but fortunately for me, The King's Speech did not fit that particular situation.

The film, which was directed by Tom Hooper, opens on the Duke of York (Colin Firth), more affectionately known by his family as Bertie, as he attempts to give his first speech via wireless radio in 1925, and we learn that he has a terrible problem with stammering and stuttering. This problem causes him a deal of emotional anguish, leading his wife (Helena Bonham Carter) to seek professional help for him. After a series of failures, she finds Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), a speech therapist with some unconventional methods. He begins to work with Bertie, and progress seems to be made. Meanwhile, the King of England (Michael Gambon) passes away, leaving the crown to Bertie's older brother (Guy Pearce), who eventually relinquishes the crown to Bertie in order to marry the woman he loves. Bertie takes the name King George VI and goes through the coronation process with the help of Lionel, who ultimately coaches him through his first wartime speech as England finds itself pulled into the start of World War II.

Although the screenplay is very good, I did have a few qualms that are probably more nitpicking than anything else. (By the way, you know a film is good when I have to nitpick to find problems with it). My first issue came early in the film where the time-frame seemingly jumped a number of years in a heartbeat, and I wasn't sure exactly when, or if, that had happened. It happens between Bertie's first and second visits to Logue, and I wasn't sure whether the time between visits had been a few hours, a few days, a few weeks or a few years. It bugged me for a few minutes, but I eventually picked up with the film. My biggest issue with The King's Speech, however, was the actual speech. Obviously, you can imagine where the film is headed the entire way through. Because a film like this is somewhat predictable, you need to deliver your finale as completely and convincingly as you can. However, I felt as though that final speech just came and went without really reflecting on the accomplishment of it all. It was supposed to be the summation of the entire movie, and at least for me, it just didn't have that final umph, if you know what I mean.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I have absolutely no qualms with the acting in The King's Speech. Many have been saying that Firth will win the Oscar for his performance as King George VI, and to be honest, he probably will win it. He's absolutely fantastic, and he deserves the award. That doesn't mean I don't think there's anyone who deserves it more (here's looking at you, James Franco), but with how the Academy tends to vote, I'd be surprised to see Firth miss out for the second year in a row. Helena Bonham Carter is also very good, but a lot should be said about Geoffrey Rush who never ceases to amaze. He should give The Fighter's Christian Bale a good run for his money in the supporting actor race.

Please don't think that I thought The King's Speech wasn't any good just because I had some issues with the screenplay. It'll probably win an Oscar. I mean, it's already garnered seven Golden Globe nominations, and that leads the field. The movie got a rousing round of applause from the audience I watched it with. It's definitely worth a watch.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: A
Current All-Time Rank: Best - #113
Thumb... Mostly UpAwards
2010: 6 nominations, 1 win

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