Film Review: The King’s Speech (2010)

And the Oscar Goes to:

The King’s Speech, 2010

Directed by: Tom Hooper

Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Gambon, Timonthy Spall

 

Of the seven most recent Oscar winners, four, including The King’s Speech, are based on true events. The King’s Speech is a story on how a speech therapist aided King George’s (Colin Firth, Shakespeare in Love) speech impediment prior to his ascension to the throne. From a nervous, stuttering wreck we watch the journey of not only King George’s voice, but of his character, as he has to endure the loss of his father, his brother’s much-criticised antics and George’s own self-doubt on whether he should be, and can be, king.

Starring the best of the best of British actors, it’s no surprise to see the cast be nominated in three out of the four acting awards at the Oscars. Colin Firth plays the stuttering would-be king to perfection, with his speech impediment coming across as genuine. Geoffrey Rush, Shakespeare in Love, (Lionel Logue) and Helena Bonham Carter (Queen Elizabeth) also provide excellent back-up to Firth, and even smaller roles issued to Michael Gambon (Victoria & Abdul) and Timothy Spall are played flawlessly.

A beautiful character arc throughout flowed brilliantly from one scene (in one year) to another (in another) and that is a credit to the direction Tom Hooper set-about, with his directing and the screenplay pacing the film superbly. However one flaw I had with this film is, at times, it seemed to drag on a bit. A lot of the film is George talking to Lionel about his past, which helps with the reasoning behind his speech impediment, and while most of these are effective (such as him being forced to abandon his natural left-handed writing to use his right) in showing a tragic history behind him, some seemed to carry on for longer than it felt they were required (it seemed as if they had all this information on the royal family and were destined to use it in the film). The only other slight issue with this film (and this is a personal opinion as I know others really liked it) was the camera angles. Some scenes (where George and Lionel are talking in Lionel’s office) it would have George or Lionel only cover about half of the screen (with either character on their own to the left-half of the screen). While unusual, it left me, at times, looking at the empty space and missing some of the powerful memories George was bringing up.

Uniquely showing a different side to monarchs, The King’s Speech looks behind the outward appearance of George and tackles serious issues plagued throughout his life brilliantly. With an excellent cast, and a brilliant post-production team, The King’s Speech is a wonderfully put-together film.

 

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Overall Rating: * * * ¾

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