Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The King's Speech

Words Worth Hearing
[Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, Timothy Spall]

RANT: It happened! I am off from work this week, and decided to get to the theater for the newly expanded The King's Speech. I went to the gym first, though, thinking I would have plenty of time. Unfortunately, I was late to the box office, then stood in line for 15 minutes to up-size my $1 small popcorn coupon for $1 small popcorn Tuesdays. So if my review is incomplete, it is because I missed the first 3 minutes of the film!

SYNOPSIS: The story of King George VI of Britain, his struggles with a speech stammer, his unlikely ascension to the throne on the eve of the Second World War, and his work and relationship with a dedicated speech therapist.

REVIEW: Directed by Tom Hooper by a screenplay by David Seidler,
The King's Speech focuses on the future King of Britain, Albert Frederick Arthur George. As the second son of King George V, Albert, or "Bertie" to his family, grew up within the shadow of his older brother Edward, the heir to the Throne. But the story is as much about the man as it is about the monarch. Raised as royalty did little to help Albert's confidence or lessen his stuttering in private or in public.

From the onset, this film is completely Colin Firth's movie. Watching him fill the shoes of the soon-to-be monarch was captivating. I felt the physical and psychological pains of the affliction of Albert's stammer and stuttering, never feeling that Albert's speech defects were put on. It was as if Firth had firsthand understanding of the difficulties of the impediment itself. Also, Firth's portrayal of King George VI and his frustrations of his unexpected rise in station simply add to the pressure that causes his speaking issues to become worse.

Tasked to help Albert with his speech defects after failed attempts by premiere therapists, Lionel Logue, played expertly and subtlety by Geoffrey Rush, tries to dig deeper into the psyche of the man who would be king. Helena Bonham Carter, as Albert's wife, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, epitomizes the grace and manner that any future queen should have - always stalwart in support of her husband and his duties. Guy Pearce portrays Albert's brother, Edward - a man who is both popular to the people of Britain and irresponsible to the throne and its duty. Even Timothy Spall, the man better known for his role as Wormtail in the Harry Potter films, brought an interesting and appealing take on British statesman and prime minister Winston Churchill.

The acting is superb. The scenery is both architecturally rich in the tradition of the British Empire, but also weathered and crumbling as historically the Empire became after the end of World War II. The film denotes the pomp of royalty and the circumstances of the everyman. King George VI and Lionel Logue are the opposite sides of separate coins, but provide plenty enough for admission.

Worth: Matinee and DVD

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