The King’s Speech
The King’s Speech (2010)
starring Colin Firth, Geoffery Rush, Helena Bonham Carter
directed by Tom Hooper
written by David Seidler
Period pieces are ALWAYS dangerous. Historical films perpetually run the serious risk of failing to feel relevant, and detaching themselves from the audience. Part of the reason I think this film won Best Picture is because it not only did it avoid doing that, but it excelled at making a relatable and emotionally stirring story. The King’s Speech tells the story of British King George VI and his struggles to overcome a stammer upon inheriting the crown at the onset of WWII. The story revolves around the developing relationship between speech therapist Lionel (Geoffery Rush) and Prince Albert (Colin Firth) as Lionel tries to cure the timid prince, and provide him with the confidence to lead a nation. The depth of these characters is mesmerizing. It’s a moving tale of courage brought to life by the wonderful performance of the actors. Firth, Rush, and Bonham Carter each bring their own uniquely composed character, rich in intricate and engaging motivation. We form attachments with these characters that make the whole film so inspiring. The film is supported by its wonderful design. The era is brought to life effectively with meticulously composed costuming and set. The plot never trails off irrelevantly, making it consistently interesting. The dialogue is witty and smooth, intelligible, while still not seemingly planned (as I felt was the case in The Social Network). Don’t mistake though, The King’s Speech is not a gem for being terrifically avant-garde, but well-executed and almost flawlessly structured. The Academy did not misstep this year as I believe they have these past few years (I disliked Hurt Locker, Crash, AND Slumdog Millionaire so I’m glad the Academy and I can finally agree on something!), and picked a movie that despite its historical frame, will remain relevant for decades to come.
Final Score: 4.6 out of 5
Next: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs!