Sunday, 26 December 2010

The King's Speech

Dir: Tom Hooper (The Damned United)
Cast: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Jennifer Ehle, Derek Jacobi
UK/Australia, 2010

Seen: December 9, 2010 Scene screening at Varsity

Reason to see: I knew from the trailer I would see the acting-heavy, inspiring-looking biopc with Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter.

Now, *this* is all the good things that awards season can bring us. Phenomenal actors, heart wrenching historical stories and Colin Firth (A Single Man) winning us over, again.

The King’s Speech is a biopic though, and biopics can be tricky to write about as each viewer of the film may have a different level on knowledge of the history we are seeing on the screen, and for readers of this review I don’t want to spoil any of the plot with historical facts as one of the beautiful things about The King’s Speech is that it plays strongly as a drama with all the complications and conflicts along the way be they personal notations or public knowledge. So I’ll tread lightly.

In The King's Speech, Colin Firth stars as a royal with a stammer, his wife (played by Helena Bonham Carter) enlists the untraditional help of Australian Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush) to help him. It’s a fascinating, trying and compelling story about power, duty and personal pride as well as having historic relevance to boot. From the human connection perspective, the ability to express yourself, to get your message across, is a powerful thing and an important ability to each an every person in the world. Seeing a film where a person of great prestige and duty is struggling with such an everyday thing is astounding. Colin Firth projects to perfect amount of composure of someone of such an important stature, but seeing him struggle is something the audience can easily relate, sympathize with and we are most certainly cheering for him, hoping that he will overcome this burden.

The magic really happens when we see the relationship created between his character and Geoffrey Rush’s, who has taken on teaching him to work through his stammer through unconventional methods. It’s a beautiful, bumpy, real relationship that we get to see build throughout the film and the both Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush are delightful to watch. It’s a perfect story of story, characters and actors who are all top notch. The importance of duty and image coupled by the personal journey of expressions plugs the story into every emotional fibre of the viewer. It’s absolutely brilliant and easily one of the best films of the year.

See also: The King's Speech DVD Review

Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I'll buy it
I highly & widely recommend it to all

11 minutes of preshow including 2 previews: Somewhere & Blue Valentine

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© Shannon Ridler, 2010

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