My first impression of The King’s Speech (before I actually saw the film) was BORING! A movie starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush about a stuttering British Monarch and his speech therapist set in the 1930s? Forget about it.
But as it turned out, everyone — and I mean everyone — was raving about this film, and all of a sudden it was a frontrunner at both the Golden Globes and the Oscars. So I put aside my prejudices and went to watch The King’s Speech, fortunately, not knowing a whole lot about it apart from what I wrote above.
And well, I was immensely impressed. Given my aversion to such films, I find it extraordinary that I found The King’s Speech to be one of the best films of the year. While it may or may not make my top 10 list (not sure until I put that post together — very soon!), I don’t hesitate in saying that it might very well be the best acted film of 2010, and I think Colin Firth has a terrific chance of nabbing his first Oscar. Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce — everyone in it was exceptional, making the film a delight to watch.
At it’s core, The King’s Speech is about the relationship between two very different men — Albert, the Duke of York (Firth), who is a horrible stammerer (not a desirable attribute who someone that has to speak publicly all the time) and Lionel Logue (Rush), an unconventional Australian speech therapist. Much of the film is dialogue, but the screenplay (by David Seidler) is so wonderful and the direction (by Tom Hooper) is so skilled that I was never bored, despite the admittedly slow pace.
There’s tension, light humour and charming banter, plus plenty of heart. And really, it’s actually quite a fascinating story, handled with intelligence, subtlety and care. It won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, but if even I can enjoy it as much as I did, then there’s hope for everyone.
4.25 stars out of 5!