Title: The King’s Speech
MPAA Rating: R or PG-13
Director: Tom Hooper
Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter
Runtime: 1 hour 51 minutesWhat It Is: The story of how England’s King George the VI (Colin Firth, in an Oscar-Winning turn) works to overcome a terrible studder that he’s had since he was a young child. When he first meets Australian actor, turned speech defect therapist Lionel Lough (Rush, also in an Oscar turn) the then Duke of York is under the impression that a.) his defect cannot be fixed, and b.) that this man is an ACTUAL doctor. Turns out both a and b are wrong. Mr. Lough, or Lionel as he prefers uses various methods in order to helps “Bertie” fix his impediment. What the two men get in return is a lifelong friendship. Now George VI is dealing with the death of his father George V, as well as his brother King Edward the Veii’s (Guy Pearce) affair with a married woman. All this while trying to get over the hump he’s dealing with. To make manners worse Hitler’s Germany is on the verge of war with the King’s nation. This means that our bumbling monarch must make his first of what would be many wartime speeches.
What We Think: Simply put this is an incredible piece of cinema. Before seeing it I didn’t buy into all the Oscar hype it received, nor did I understand the reasoning for it winning so many. I have now, since seeing this movie respect it. And the academies decision to call this the Best Picture of the year. Firth was in full form much as he was in his Oscar turn last year (for which I felt he should’ve won the Oscar.) I feel as though this years win was a makeup for last year. For me however it was Geoffrey Rush that absolutely dazzled. He didn’t win the Oscar, but I’ll be damned if he didn’t make a great argument. Helena Bonham Carter also shines as George’s wife Elizabeth. In addition to the principles their were many other brilliant performances by Timothy Spell as Winston Churchill, and Michael Gambon as King Edward V.
Our Grade: A+, When it comes to brilliance The King’s Speech goes above and beyond just about everywhere. Tom Hooper’s direction is subtle enough to leave a fingerprint but not overbearing. He instead allows his brilliant battery of actors to do exactly what they do… marvel us. While not too many films can claim to be perfect and this one certainly isn’t it is as close as we’ve gotten this year. So every Golden statue The Weinstein Company has from this film is a well deserved homage to a delightful cinematic experience. In what I consider the best period piece I’ve seen this year, or in quite some time.