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The King's Speech

A movie directed by Tom Hooper

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The King's Speech

  • Jan 22, 2011
Rating:
+4
Well if this isn't Oscar bait I don't know what is. A movie about the British monarchs that comes out in December. The only thing that is holding it back from pure gold is that it is actually doing well in the box office, people are going to see it.

It seems that come award season a couple movies always make it across the pond and infiltrate the system. This movie follows the same formula as the ones before it. It humanizes the monarch while still telling a story of perseverance. Already nabbing a couple awards it is sure to win a couple of Oscars as well. Had it not been for the suburb acting in this movie I'm sure this would just be another British film nabbing awards that no one would see.

The title of the film references two things. Both the slammer that Albert Fredrick Arthur George (His Majesty to you) possessed since an early age. It is this stammer he must overcome to deliver his most important address to the nation at the dawn of World War II with Hitler knocking on the doorstep.

But Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush make it worth it. Firth plays the stammering king who lives in the shadow of his father and brother, hauntingly played by Michael Gambon and Guy Pearce respectively. He once again dives into the role that calls for quiet restraint. He has become known for this type of role and continues to flourish with it. But his best moments are when he steps out of his quiet demeanor and stands up for himself. He is a shoo-in for best actor this year.

Firth's strong performance of the damaged son lacking confidence allows for his supporting cast to step out and excel as they try to raise him up. Helena Bonham Carter does well as the Queen Mum, her strong personality fits well as she interacts with some of the commoners. Her role is more limited in this story so most of the accolades not given to Firth will likely be given to his other costar. Geoffrey Rush steals every scene as the eccentric speech therapist who believes in his king. He delivers most of, if not all the laughs in the movie (Timothy Spall has some as Winston Churchill but I'm not sure if that's the writing or the fact that Timothy Spall is playing Winston Churchill). There is little to no nuance to the performance and while it may be the big named actors that get you in the theater it will be Rush who keeps you in your seat.

That seems to be what the problem with so many other English movies, they are often so serious that they keep fun loving American movie goers away from the theater. The performances and writing in the movie will keep the viewer engaged. All the characters are believable and it isn't until the final sequence that all the king talk really hits home, it is less about the monarch and more about the man looking to fulfill his duty.

Writer David Seidler had been looking to make this film for some time. And although he didn't need to, he asked for permission from the Queen Mum to make the movie. She in turn asked him to wait till after her death as the memories were still to fresh for her. After she passed away at the age of 150 he was finally able to tell the story of a man who fell by the wayside with so many larger personalities during this time period.

The story is an interesting one, but the execution is what brings the movie down a peg, it is formulaic. Fortunately the formula is how to win a lot of awards so it is a good path to follow. Even more fortunate are the male leads in the movie as they take the this story over the top which will have one of these men (though both deserve it) walking away with gold in February. A-

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January 26, 2011
Haven't seen this yet, but based on your review and some others that I read, I'm sure this will earn more than a few Oscars! I'm definitely checking this out :)
 
January 23, 2011
"That seems to be what the problem with so many other English movies, they are often so serious that they keep fun loving American movie goers away from the theater. The performances and writing in the movie will keep the viewer engaged.." wonderfully put! Well-written review! Thank you very much.
 
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More The King's Speech reviews
review by . January 03, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
4 ½ Stars: Everyone Has The Right To Be Heard!
Stories about friendship and courage. They are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser whose stories have been told in various different ways. It is just something that people need to be told from time to time that I doubt anyone would grow tired of it. Well, director Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech” won the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival People’s choice award and it tells about the true story of a King George VI who overcame something very significant in the face of a …
review by . April 23, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I was not familar with the story of George VI until I saw this amazing film. Apparently George had a terrible stuttering problem until one day his wife took him to the home of a commoner in the basement floors of a building. At first George is reluctant to give the man a chance. His father and just about everyone else had sent him to "experts' with no success. One such "expert" wanted him to smoke to "sooth the lungs" and talk with marbles in his mouth. None of these things worked.    George …
review by . January 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
There is a pivotal moment in the King's Speech that just speaks volumes about what the movie is about and what it means.  It's a scene where Bertie (also known as a King George VI)I--a man with a stammering problem--is standing there with Lionel, his speech therapist, and Lionel puts a headset on him and plays music and instructs Bertie to read a passage out of Hamlet.  While the music is playing you can't hear him, he can't even hear himself.  Lionel records it for …
review by . January 30, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
A King's birthright
It was a little slow at the beginning but the movie picks up lots of momentum towards the end. The true story of a royalty's speech impediment. Had he been just another prince, then it's no big deal. But the moment that his brother abdicated the throne and he was made king, it's a major problem!      What made this movie success is not so much the story nor is it the overcoming of a handicap. True, they are part of what make a story. However, I believe it is the acting …
review by . January 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Don't miss this movie just because its not gotten a wide release.  Here in Raleigh, NC, it isn't playing at any of the multi-screen multiplexes, which actually gives you a great excuse to see a movie in an old-fashioned single-screen movie house like the Rialto in Raleigh (an excellent movie-going experience in itself).      And what a movie this is.  It is certain to get nominations for best movie, actor, and supporting actor.  While I think the movie …
review by . December 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The British monarchy tale "The King's Speech" led Golden Globe contenders Tuesday with seven nominations, including best drama and acting honours for Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush.Other best-drama nominees were the psychosexual dance thriller "Black Swan," the boxing saga "The Fighter," the sci-fi blockbuster "Inception" and the Facebook chronicle "The Social Network." Nominees in the Globes' other best-picture category, …
review by . February 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     There are few stories without an enemy; and few films without a flaw. Yes, history has proved me somewhat wrong and there are indeed MANY great, flawless films, but seldom do they come along each weekend. So when they do come along, there is reason to celebrate. "The King's Speech" is an absolutely fantastic portrait of the Duke of York, who was King George V's son. If there is a villain in this very story, it is the flaws of the Duke/Albert. He is to become …
review by . January 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   Speech impediments are a horrible thing to deal with, I’d imagine. And I’d imagine they are far, far worse if you’re the titular leader of 1/4 of the world. That’s the situation faced by King George VI in The King’s Speech. George VI (Colin Firth), called “Bertie” through most of the film, was never meant to be king. His brother, David, was the one who was meant to be king, but no one, including his father, seemed to feel he was up to the …
review by . December 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
“The King’s Speech” is the one of the few films I know of to humanize the embarrassment of stuttering. It tells the story of Prince Albert, Duke of York, who, following the death of his father and the resignation of his older brother, became King George VI and had the unenviable task of leading England and its many colonies into World War II; although he had a voice and had plenty to say, his debilitating stammer made it virtually impossible to actually say it. Imagine what that …
review by . January 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   What an extraordinary piece of filmmaking. Tom Hooper took the interesting story of King George VI of Britain (Colin Firth) struggle for regaining trust in his own voice. Knowledgeable of King George's stammer, his wife, Queen Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) appealed to some local and relatively unknown speech therapist by the name of Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). As a short history brief I could add that the Duke of York by the real name of Albert Frederick Arthur George became …
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Wiki

The King's Speech is a British historical drama film directed by Tom Hooper from a script by David Seidler. The movie won the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival People's Choice Award.


The film stars Colin Firth as King George VI and Geoffrey Rush as speech therapist Lionel Logue, who helped George VI overcome a stammer. Filming commenced in the United Kingdom in November 2009. The film is set for a limited release in the United States on 26 November 2010

The British monarchy tale "The King's Speech" led Golden Globe contenders Tuesday with seven nominations, including best drama and acting honours for Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush.Other best-drama nominees were the psychosexual dance thriller "Black Swan," the boxing saga "The Fighter," the sci-fi blockbuster "Inception" and the Facebook chronicle "The Social Network."
Nominees in the Globes' other best-picture category, for musical or comedy, are the Lewis Carroll fantasy "Alice in Wonderland," the song-and-dance extravaganza "Burlesque," the lesbian-family tale "The Kids Are All Right," the action tale "Red" and the romantic thriller "The Tourist."
"The Social Network" and "The Fighter" tied for second with six nominations each. Among nominations for ...

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Details

Director: Tom Hooper
Genre: Drama, History
Release Date: 24 December 2010 (USA)
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: David Seidler
DVD Release Date: April 19, 2011
Runtime: 118 min
Studio: The Weinstein Company/Anchor Bay Entertainment
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