Monday, July 16, 2012

FIlm review--The King's Speech


THE KING'S SPEECH
starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi, Guy Pearce, and Russell Brand as "The Beav."

King George VI (Firth) gets handed the throne of England after his brother (Pearce) abdicates.  This is not George's first choice of roles as he has a persistent and unrelenting stutter while speaking in public.  With the UK on the brink of World War II, it is up to a speech therapist (Rush) to whip the King into shape and so that he can deliver the speech of his life.

Again, this isn't the sort of film that I generally review on my blog.  Again, as I did in the case of Blue, I am choosing to do so on the grounds of art.  In regard to The King's Speech, it is the arts of acting and writing.

This story is nothing new.  It's really been around for a very long time, Shaw's Pygmalion being a prime example.  An erudite professional with unorthodox methods is requisitioned to help scrape the carbon scarring away from the exterior of a diamond so that it may shine.  More often than no both parties succeed and we all leave the theater with a warm feeling.  It verges on cliche.

What makes The King's Speech distinctive is that it is a) a true story and b) supremely acted.  Colin Firth presents a performance in this film that is unrivaled in the past few years, well worthy of his Oscar.  Sure, sure, it is again that cliche of "play an impaired character and you'll get the Oscar."  Whatever.  It was difficult material and Firth took it on splendidly and Rush was his usual great self.  It is the back and forth dialogue between these two characters during scenes when they are the only ones on screen that truly define the film.  In fact, I could see this being quite a stage play or a presentation on PBS' Masterpiece Theater.  Oh give it time.  I'm certain Broadway will cobble a musical together for it.  They seem to do that with everything else these days.

If you enjoy character study, stellar acting, and even history, this is a film that will not leave you disappointed.


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