THE KING’S SPEECH—Starring Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi/ Geofrey Rush and Guy Pearce/ rated R/ 1 hr. 51 minutes.
(G) The King's Speech is billed as a British historical drama following the true story of King George VI, unexpected ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the stammering monarch overcome his impediment and self-doubt to become the leader of Britain just prior to WWII. On the surface, this seems like it could be pretty dry, but surprisingly it was just the right stuff to make this, at this late date on the cinema calendar, my absolute favorite movie of the year. As a scriptwriter, teacher and lover all things communicative, I was enthralled by the suspense of a script that hinged on a speech defect. I’m not kidding. I found it emotionally very stirring to witness these royal performances. Colin Firth as the king-to-be was an inspired performance, perfect in every nuance. You could feel his frustration every time a syllable got stuck in his throat. It was something that everyone could relate to, since the fear of public speaking EXCEEDS the fear of death, on the fear-o-meter, according to actual scientists who measure those things. However, this ultimate fear also was ingeniously united to all manner of human conflicts. Public speaking for a stutterer is bad enough, but for someone who has the ultimate responsibility to speak publicly in a time of world calamity, it is beyond what most of us could ever imagine. The good King had to overcome his fear, to rouse resistance against the greatest orator of evil that the world has ever known…Adolph Hitler! Now that was courage and I’m a sucker for this kind of story. Every performance was stellar and though I haven’t seen all of the movies up for awards yet, I think this one is the one to beat. Four binocular all the way!
(B) Well, after Gordon’s review of The Kings Speech, there’s not a lot left for me to say. I agree with him, therefore I won’t bore you by being redundant (note from Gordon: Read this part with a British accent). I might add that Geofrey Rush stands out in my mind as the best performance. The settings in this movie seemed real to me and not overdone even in the presence of royalty. It worked quite well for me, you see, because it did not distract from the story. Four binoculars for me as well. Chereo!