Thursday, April 21, 2011

The King's Speech

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The King's Speech - 5 out of 5

As the credits rolled on The King's Speech, I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed it. I didn't really have many reservations going into the film nor did I have expectations of it coming out bad but whenever I watch a film that has been nominated for Best Picture (in this case, it was nominated and it won) I always go at it with a sense of caution because sometimes, I just don't know what the fuck The Academy is thinking. Case in point The Kids Are All Right. If there weren't lesbians in that bland, forgettable film, it never would have been nominated--nominating it just reeked of The Academy being PC and not nominating a film more deserving. In fact, as a year progresses, you can easily see which films will be nominated, for example, it's no surprise this film was chosen because it deals with British history and, for some reason, The Academy loves movies about British history.

The film follows the real events of King George VI as he inherits the throne and tries to overcome his nearly debilitating stammer. The soon-to-be-King enlists the help of a speech therapist played by the always awesome Geoffrey Rush (who was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor for this role). The story, being historical, automatically makes it interesting because, let's face it, reality is much cooler than fantasy sometimes but the story quickly becomes even deeper and more meaningful for the viewer. King George's stammer aside, every person knows what it's like to battle against a personal flaw and the mountain one has to climb in order to achieve victory. Director Tom Hooper (who won Best Director for the film) and Colin Firth (King George and winner of Best Actor for this one) bring to life this struggle perfectly as Hooper's work with the camera and composition with music and Firth's amazing talent really pulls you into the story and sympathizes with King George's struggle. This complete submersion into the story is only made complete as you watch Rush and Firth play amazingly off each other. Also, as an added treat, Timothy Spall does an excellent--sadly short--role as Winston Churchill.

The only real downside this film had was the inclusion into the cast of Tim Burton's domestic partner--and no, I'm not talking about Johnny Depp. That's right, the other love of Tim Burton's life; Helena Bonham Carter stars as King George's wife; Queen Elizabeth. At first, I was surprised by the restraint this scene chewer had as it seemed she was trying to play a real person and not a caricature like she usually does but as I watched her performance, I notice that she only toned down her hamming ways and was still playing a caricature, just not as severe as she usually does.

Carter aside, this movie was fantastic. The acting was tremendous, the story fascinating and simple at the same time and the technical work done on the film was awesome. It's not often I agree with The Academy but this movie deserved all the acolytes it received.

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