Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

The King's Speech

As some of you already know, I've been nearly desperate to see The King's Speech since before its (extremely limited) open several weeks ago. It has finally come to my local art house theatre, and I took myself to see it this afternoon. I laughed, I cried (as did most of the audience), and I was completely blown away. I am not certain there are enough superlatives to describe this film, but the two that come to mind for me most readily are "extraordinary" and "magnificent".

The King's Speech is a title with a double meaning - it refers to the speech impediment suffered by King George VI of England (previously Prince Albert, known as "Bertie" to his family and, as it turns out, to his speech therapist), and it refers to a particular speech made by the king, dealing with Britain's entry into World War II. Prince Albert was never supposed to be the monarch, really - he was the "spare". His elder brother, David, succeeded their father (George V) to the throne, becoming King Edward VIII. But as many of you know, King Edward VIII abdicated from the throne in order to marry American commoner and double-divorcée Wallis Simpson, thereby changing history.

The role of "Bertie"/King George VI is played by Colin Firth, and it's the best performance I've seen him give (and that is saying something - of course, I still have to see A Single Man). His speech therapist, Australian Lionel Logue, is played by the marvelous Geoffrey Rush, and his wife, Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mum) is played by Helena Bonham Carter. Know how over-the-top and extreme she is as Bellatrix Lestrange? She is the opposite here, and it's an elegant, understated performance that she turns in.

The supporting cast was tremendous - Derek Jacobi as the overbearing Archbishop of Canterbury, Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill, Professor Dumbledore Michael Gambon as King George V, Guy Pearce as King Edward VIII, Jennifer Ehle as Mrs. Logue and (in a cameo) strikeMr. Collins</strike> David Bamber as a theatre director (Firth, Ehle and Bamber were in the 1995 BBC production of Pride & Prejudice together).

The movie begins in 1926, when Prince Albert, Duke of York makes a disastrous radio broadcast at the close of the British Empire Exhibition as a result of his stammer. His wife, Elizabeth, finds speech therapists to treat him, eventually turning to Lionel Logue, an Australian with rather unorthodox manners. (For instance, he calls the prince "Bertie" instead of "your royal highness" or "sir", and he encourages him to swear, sing, roll about on the floor, etc.) The movie provides a great deal of insight into the life of King George VI and his upbringing, of course, not all of which is sunshine and roses. The movie has pathos and heart, and the moment when the king bellows "I have a voice!" gave me chills and reduced the man to my left to tears.

If it's open already near you, go see it. If it isn't, by all means go as soon as it is. The movie, the costumes, the sets, the script, the director, the cinematography and the acting are all worthy of superlatives. I predict massive awards falling on the film and its actors, and well-deservedly. It is that good.

Kiva - loans that change lives

Site Meter



( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 19th, 2010 11:18 pm (UTC)
What a special memory. Somehow it's easy to picture a Gran re-enacting, even though neither of mine would have (not just because they were Americans, but one was much too proper--think Hyacinth Bouquet--and the other much too lazy.
Dec. 20th, 2010 01:04 am (UTC)
How wonderful! What a terrific memory to have and hold onto, for both of you!
Dec. 19th, 2010 11:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks! This means it is exactly what I was hoping. Now to nail down a reasonably local venue.
Dec. 20th, 2010 01:04 am (UTC)
Rumor has it the movie opens wide this coming weekend . . . hopefully that will bring it close to you!
Dec. 19th, 2010 11:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm intrigued. Thanks for the review :)
Dec. 20th, 2010 01:04 am (UTC)
It's fabulous. Truly.
Dec. 20th, 2010 12:21 am (UTC)
Waaaah - I want to see it so bad!! Hopefully it will start playing around here soon!
Dec. 20th, 2010 01:05 am (UTC)
The word on Twitter was that it's due to open "wide" on Christmas. Not sure that's true, but I will hope it's the case!
Dec. 20th, 2010 12:52 am (UTC)
Ooh, thanks for the fantastic review! I'm thinking of a movie afternoon over the holidays!
Dec. 20th, 2010 01:05 am (UTC)
You will LOVE this one. Guaranteed.
Dec. 20th, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
That sounds fantastic. Now I really want to see it too!
Dec. 20th, 2010 05:16 am (UTC)
You will love it. It was sosososo good!
Dec. 20th, 2010 03:29 am (UTC)
Yes, but did you like it? I can't really tell... ;P
Dec. 20th, 2010 05:16 am (UTC)
I did not like it. I luuuuurved it! SPECTACULAR, I tell you! Completely made of awesome! :P
Dec. 20th, 2010 03:44 am (UTC)
well, i haven't seen this but i have seen a single man- and oh my, kelly- you must see this. colin is... well, just so wonderful... and i wish i could say how i felt about this movie and his role in it... he seems to be very much in his stride- and i have to say, looking lovelier than ever...
Dec. 20th, 2010 05:17 am (UTC)
You should see him in his 1920s & 1930s tie and tails (and military uniform and suits) in The King's Speech. So. Great.
Dec. 20th, 2010 03:58 am (UTC)
It got fabulous reviews and Academy Award predictions here. I would have wanted to see it anyway because of my interest in speech therapy. It's on my must-see list.
Dec. 20th, 2010 05:18 am (UTC)
You will adore this movie, Barb. For serious.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 20th, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC)
My guess is that you guys will be getting it this weekend? I heard a Twitter rumor that that's when the film is supposed to "open wide"?
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

December 2018


Powered by LiveJournal.com