116 of 130 people found the following review helpful
Speak The Speech I Pray Thee--A Dignified And Humanizing Tale Of Friendship And Royalty,
This review is from: The King's Speech (DVD)
Earlier this year when I started hearing raves about "The King's Speech" on the film festival circuit, I knew it was a film for me. I have eagerly awaited its arrival for many months and, as expected, it is a dignified and well scripted effort. Intelligent, adult entertainment of this sort only hits the theaters around awards time and there is no denying that "The King's Speech" is positioning itself perfectly for the year's biggest competition. In an unusual bit of bravado, David Seidler's screenplay is fashioned as a feel good underdog story. Yes, that's right--King George VI is a plucky survivor who must overcome adversity to win the respect of his family and his nation. It's an unusual tactic, really, but I think that's why so many people are responding to "The King's Speech" in a more personal way than past stories of regal history. The film humanizes this world leader in a very identifiable way.
The plotting of "The King's Speech" is pretty straightforward and most people will know the principle story through either history or the film's advertising. Colin Firth plays King George VI who battled with a bad stutter for most of his life. Trying to stay out of the spotlight, Firth has never worried about ascending to the throne as he has an older brother (Guy Pearce) who is in line for that distinction. However, Pearce ends up being more concerned with an inappropriate romance than with ruling a nation. Firth's wife (Helena Bonham Carter), meanwhile, has contracted an unusual speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) that breaks all the rules. Insisting on equality with the future King, Rush and Firth form a tentative friendship. But as Firth takes his place in the monarchy just as World War II is imminent, he must unite the nation with his inaugural radio speech. Guess how it goes?
Obviously, you can't beat the cast of "The King's Speech." Bonham Carter is a delight--both haughty and approachable. Rush is as solid as always and Firth is terrific. Truth be told, I personally would have given Firth last year's Oscar for "A Single Man" and Bonham Carter deserved it for "The Wings of the Dove" many years ago. They will, undoubtedly, both be in the running again this year as will Rush. Despite Rush's classification in the supporting actor category, however, don't be fooled. It is clearly a lead role! Guy Pearce is particularly amusing as an elder brother as he is about seven years younger than Firth. And I like seeing Derek Jacobi as an archbishop (amusing because Jacobi also played a famous historical stammerer in the glorious mini-series "I, Claudius").
All in all, "The King's Speech" is both witty and touching. It's a well made and literate film, one that I admired a lot. It did, however, play out exactly as you might expect with little narrative surprise. But that's a small point that is definitely overshadowed by the many great attributes present in the film. KGHarris, 12/10.
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Initial post: Apr 11, 2011 5:58:54 AM PDT
Ms Susan H. Shannon says:
I need Sublittles english please for The King's Speech. Many thanks Susan (deaf person)
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