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The King’s Speech

Last year, Colin Firth blew me away with A Single Man. This year, he’s done it again, with The King’s Speech. This guy can act. He says as much – if not more- with his silences as he does with his words. And he makes for a mighty fine king.

The King’s Speech is based on the true story of Queen Elizabeth II’s father – a Duke nicknamed “Bertie” who became King George VI after his older brother Edward abdicated the throne to marry an American divorcee (scandalous!).

The movie focuses on the Duke-turned-King’s ambivalence about taking on the leadership role given an embarrassing speech impediment that causes him to stutter – especially when addressing the masses.

Buoyed by the support and encouragement of his wife (played by Helena Bonham Carter), Bertie undergoes treatment from – and forms a lifelong friendship with- a maverick speech therapist named Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). Lionel helps Bertie confront his fears and find the voice he needs to lead the nation into World War Two. You can’t help but root for the guy.

Firth manages to strike a perfect balance between relatable and regal, funny and profound. And while The King’s Speech can feel a little slow in parts, the immensely talented trio of Firth, Bonham Carter, and Rush make it all worthwhile in the end. You may even learn a bit of history to boot and feel an unexpected bit of sympathy/empathy for the Queen, Charles, William and Harry. And Kate.

p.s. to the Academy: Firth has my vote (or would – if I had one) for Best Actor. He’s more than earned it. Just rent Love Actually! The guy’s got range!

4 Comments

  1. Jodi Sweed, December 26, 2010:

    Great review! I agree with the sentiment…Colin Firth’s acting in this movie was outstanding.

  2. Arty Chick, December 26, 2010:

    I agree with Mainstream Chick. Colin Firth is outstanding. It may add a level of enjoyment if you know the political background of the times, but I’m not sure it is necessary. I was fascinated in that I’d read a lot about George VI but never knew about his speech problem. It is a thoroughly involving story and I’d recommend it to just about anyone — except teenage boys.

  3. Mainstream Chick, January 9, 2011:

    I WISH teenage boys would see it – instead of flocking to the Little Fockers! Oh well. Boys will be boys. Maybe if we highlight the fact that there’s a bunch of swearing in King’s Speech, they’d give it a go! 🙂

  4. Adventurous Chick, January 16, 2011:

    Loved, loved, loved this movie. If I had seen it before the end of the year, I would have put it in my top five. Colin Firth is just outstanding as King George Vi and Geoffrey Rush gives an extraordinary performance. Helena Bonham Carter is also great as the queen mum. I didn’t think it felt slow at all. I enjoyed it from beginning to end and will probably watch it again when it comes out on DVD.

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