INTERN’S VIEW: ‘The King’s Speech’ Made Me Speechless
The King’s Speech; Directed By Tom Hooper: Starring Colin Firth, Geoffery Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Gambon and Guy Pearce.
It goes without saying that if you know me, I usually can’t stand period dramas. They all seem to follow a predictable path to a conclusion we all know is coming. Chances are also that they rack up more Academy Award/Golden Globe nominations than films that deserve them. (i.e. The Dark Knight and Watchmen). However, as I left the theater after watching The King’s Speech I was, if you’ll excuse the pun, speechless. Here is a film that came straight out of left field to deliver a powerful and emotional experience that stands toe to toe with the best 2010 had to offer, like True Grit, The Fighter, etc. I can say in all safety that The King’s Speech deserves every bit of praise it has garnered and is sure to garner. Colin Firth as King George VI delivers the best performance of any actor in 2010, bar none. I was, in all sincerity ready to give that to Leonardo DiCaprio for Shutter Island or Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network, but after watching the devotion and care that Colin Firth rewarded us with, it goes without saying.
The story follows Albert, The Duke Of York as he overcomes the stammer that has plagued him his entire life. We see several failed attempts before we’re introduced to Lionel Logue, (Geoffery Rush) an unconventional Australian speech therapist who helps Albert and becomes the closest thing to a friend he has. As George V becomes increasingly weaker, political machinations work in favor of Albert’s brother David, who shirks the responsibilities of the crown in order to pursue an American divorcee. Albert, with the help of Logue and his wife (Helena Bonham Carter) must show that he can step in as king, and overcome any problems he may have for his people and his country at the start of World War II.
Right off the bat, what works extremely well is the dialogue, written with an edge of sardonic wit that boosts the entire film to a level it may not have been without it. Geoffery Rush is astounding as Lionel Logue and a perfect compliment to Colin Firth’s George VI. In fact, everyone is on their A Game here, personifying exactly who they need to be when they need to be them. This is a film that knows what it wants to get from us but takes it’s time and in doing so made a risky decision. So many period dramas have floundered because of skewed timing, but King’s Speech is the rare film that doesn’t. Not only does time fly when you watch these brilliant actors recite this brilliant dialogue, but chances are you won’t even want it to end. I know I didn’t, and without saying too much the ending, synchronized perfectly with Beethoven’s 7th Symphony Allegretto, is nothing short of breathtaking. This is a film for mature, cultured people who will receive the very finest entertainment for being patient. Even if the award bearers snub Christopher Nolan as they have continually done, I can at least proudly say that my runner up is The King’s Speech. For a film nominated for seven Golden Globes, I can say that every one that it wins, it has earned.
Rating: ***** / *****
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Philip Benais is our newest Intern, a 16-year old student at Big Picture High School in SeaTac. He’s an aspiring Writer who loves movies, so we let him write reviews for us.
Read more of his work here.]