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The King's Speech

A movie directed by Tom Hooper

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Ingenious! The King has Spoken!

  • Feb 1, 2011
**** 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 his father's successor, while at the same time he worries if he will ever be able to make the grand speech(s) that everyone expects of him. This is a film about the road leading to eventual success, and it's a damn fine piece of filmmaking indeed. "The King's Speech" is so fine in fact, that it is one of the best films of 2010; a certain Oscar contender in the long run. Here we have a film that takes few risks and only wishes to be average and seldom seen, but due to its seductive greatness and irresistible mix of humor and wit, it is more than it wants to be. This is a wonderful film in spite of its predictability, and it made me realize that a film like this comes out nigh every year. I of course mean "a film like this" as in a film which tells a true story, and should therefore be predictable, but goes on to be a compelling work of art. This is exactly the case with "The King's Speech", which takes a relatively fascinating premise and turns it into an even more fascinating film. One can of course tell a good story, but can one also make a good film out of it? In this case, most certainly. And can one also bring a talented cast into the mix? Oh yes, indeed. "The King's Speech" does something that very few-and I mean very few-2010 films have done; it creates originality out of unoriginality. I won't say it's as predictable as some have made it out to be, but I won't call it original either. And for once, here's a film that does not need to be original to be the wondrous work that it is. This is a film for anyone; lovers of history, cinephiles, and "normal" movie-goers alike. It's a film with such a wide appeal that I suppose I have not even seen the peak of its on-going success, which started with high critical praise and will end with its multiple mentioning's at the Academy Awards. Here's to hoping that it wins something. I for one am all for Colin Firth winning Best Actor for his riveting and powerful performance in this film; which might just be the best thing he has starred in yet. So whether you're in-tune with the world of film or not, "The King's Speech" is an absolute must-see; a compelling piece of historical story-telling that uses just about all it's got to succeed. I like it when films do that; I like it a lot. Hence why "The King's Speech" was, in my eye, a wonderful film. I say take the ticket, as long as you have the time.

Albert, son of King George V, has many flaws, and these flaws alone are the antagonists of this very story. There are no enemies that are visible; merely emotional ghosts that tend to haunt the character from time-to-time, or even better, whenever he tries to speak. Albert constantly stutters whenever he talks or makes a public speech; which proves a problem for him when he was born of such royalty. He consults a speech therapist by the name of Lionel Logue, who aims to help Albert in a number of ways. The therapy proves helpful for quite some time, and through a couple of different methods, Edward learns to speak better publicly. There is a good chance that he will never be perfect when it comes to these things, but a little speech practice a day couldn't hurt. The story focuses on both Albert's self-journey to success and the relationship between the to-be King and his teacher. The conversations that the two men have are intelligent and often times comical; a sort of unlikely fitting mix for such a film as this. While "The King's Speech" is suitably predictable, it's also suitably wonderful as well. This film is pleasant and smart; funny and whimsical in its artistic beauty. I believe this is a mighty fine film, not only for the story it tells, but also for the talent contained within the filmmaking. You have to look at this film from many angles to see why it is as great as it is, because if you don't, it may pass you by as down-right boring. I assume that it will bore many modern movie-goers due to its pacing, but to me it's pitch-perfect. I really liked watching it; and it is indeed quite entertaining. How can I not be entertained by such a great movie? How can I not be entertained by non-pretentious art? "The King's Speech" is a triumph and a modern marvel; thus you do not want to miss it. You should already be in the process of watching it.

Colin Firth has had a so-so career considering he starred in this beauty as well as the absolutely horrible "Dorian Grey". He was OK in that film, but in "The King's Speech", Firth delivers one of the best performances of his career. This film comes to show that 2009's "A Single Man" was no fluke; Colin Firth is indeed a very talented actor. Firth is entertaining to watch as the soon-to-be King, and he's also quite funny at moments. He works very well with his largest and most honorable co-star, Geoffrey Rush. Both actors have many funny and honest moments with each-other, which can only lead to something fascinating. Helena Bonham Carter also plays King George/Albert's wife, and she's as fine as she almost always is. It was nice to see so many familiar faces appearing in this film, and even more showed up as the film went on. There are several good cameos by the likes of Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon, and Timothy Spall; all of whom I like very much. The casting of each individual feels ingenious, and the efforts from both in front of and behind the camera seen to work well with each-other at all times. Simply put; great acting and great craftsmanship. I love this film.

"The King's Speech" is as good as modern historical movies (that don't happen to be epics) get. It is intelligent, historically insightful, and even crafty as a film. This is what art is; the work of a craftsman who knows how to paint a heck of a picture. Oh, where to start? Well, first off, the film looks fantastic. The cinematography is essentially flawless; giving the film a somewhat unique and distinctive visual style even if that wasn't quite the point. I also feel the need to praise the costume design, which is surprisingly complex. Secondly, I will also discuss the film's score, which is as good as just about everything else in this film. If I have one last thing to say regarding the film's artistic and crafty merit, it's the rating. Why the R rating in America? This film is entirely harmless. Sure, there's some profanity scattered around in specific times when Albert is practicing for the speech, but it's meant to be a part of his method. It has a purpose rather than just being there, and since it's not even excessive, such a rating was NOT needed. I just needed to get that out, since the MPAA makes some really stupid decisions these days. Sometimes they even give films ratings that are too low for what they call for. I would give you an example, but since I'm reviewing "The King's Speech", what would be the point? All you really need to know when walking in to this film is that it's a very smart production. Well-acted and well-told, it's not meant to be an emotionally resonant picture, but not all great films need to be, I suppose. This is a very good film. You could even call it a modern marvel. See it for the fact that it mixes a feeling of uneasiness within the characters with a genuine sense of humor. This is something that you don't see that often, and I really didn't expect "The King's Speech" to be all that funny. Imagine my surprise when it was. If it sounds interesting, then it probably is. Please do yourself a favor and see this film, because believe me, you will not regret it.

Every historical film is somewhat inaccurate, thus this one is as well. But does that make it less good than it is? No, not at all. "The King's Speech" is just a great film, and nothing can take its outstanding qualities away from it. I do expect that some will go against the masses and say that they disliked it, and if it's out of honesty, then that's OK. But I hate when critics and audiences alike try to be different and therefore pretentiously hate on a film despite the fact that deep down inside, they really did like it. I'm an honest person, and while I'd love to be the odd one out, I really loved watching "The King's Speech". 2010 was a genuinely disappointing year for films, and this is one of its few big surprises. I expected I would like the film, but man; did I ever expect I would love it? No, I don't suppose I did. It looked promising enough, and this is one film where the trailers do not lie; it truly is a powerful and completely absorbing experience. Such a fantastic cinematic ride is made possible with awesome performances and witty dialogue; the kind that doesn't exactly come around every week. If you can find your way through the explosions of the weekend action flicks and the faux laughs of most modern comedies, then you will end up watching "The King's Speech". I'm hoping that when you watch it, you enjoy it. It's a decently paced film that will only appeal to those who choose to see it as the extremely well-made thing that it is. As long as it's funny and smart, I can like it, and possibly even love it. I believe that "The King's Speech" is a perfect film; one of the best of 2010. It deserves whatever it's got coming, and hopefully someday everyone will recognize just how great it actually is. For the love of hilariously profane speech sessions and ridiculously good filmmaking, "The King's Speech" is a film that needs to be seen. If you have not seen it, then stop watching the 2010 potboilers and see it now. It is most definitely worth your while, and I personally loved it to death. That's not to say that everyone will, but you have to appreciate how everything kind of works out better than it should. This film should not have been so great. But since it's got great acting and a great story, it does. And that's why I love it.

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February 02, 2011
wonderful...wonderful write up! I almost counted how many times you've said "loved this film"...nice personal review!!
February 05, 2011
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 . 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
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 …
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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Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #3
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie


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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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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Best Picture Nominees 2011


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