Feb 1, 2011

The King's Speech (2010) - your ma-majesty has a pr-problem

directed by Tom Hooper / starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce

Whenever I see a British film, I for some reason automatically keep an eye on Harry Potter actors. It's fun, because half of British actors have been in a Harry Potter movie. If you count more than one, it's worth mentioning. If they have any scenes together, it's extra fun. Then you can compare them to their Potter characters and see if it's odd that they're interacting. In The King's Speech, Bellatrix and Pettigrew were definitely on the same side again, but Dumbledore was a bit of a douche.

...Oh, what do you know, I'm being a dork again! Let us now discuss the film in a civilized manner.

The King's Speech tells the story of King George VI. And his speech. As one might conclude. The title of the film is, of course, quite clever, as it refers to the King's speech, as in an ability to talk, as well as to his speech that he is to give as a king. There are some severe problems with him giving speeches, because the poor man's speech is not one of a charismatic leader. In other words, he stammers, a lot. His wonderful, lovely wife keeps taking him from a speech terapist to another, but his condition remains seemingly uncured until they find Lionel Logue, whose approach to the problem seems somewhat different. For one, he calls the King (well, the Duke, at first) Bernie.

The cast was what I liked the most about The King's Speech. They didn't get that SAG award for nothing! The utterly lovely Colin Firth may have his Oscar, as far as I'm concerned. I would happily allow him to have it (even though I'm still secretly holding my thumbs up for Jesse Eisenberg, and I'd also like James Franco to get some awards, judging by the latest trailer of 127 Hours (the actual movie on Friday, hooray! The awards season is getting expensive for me)), just for being such a sweetheart. And because it actually hurt a bit to watch him try and force all those words out of his mouth. You wanted him to succeed as much as he did himself.

I love Helena Bonham Carter, whatever she does (especially when she wears odd pair of heels in award ceremonies). She is wonderful as the wife who always stands by her husband. I loved the little scene with her and Lionel's wife. Geoffrey Rush rocks, too. And Guy Pearce, he plays a douche very well ("I've been busy... kinging!")! The girl who played Princess Margaret bothered me by looking so familiar, but I just couldn't place her. (Turns out she's in a little TV show called Outnumbered, of which I've seen a few random episodes, and it seems so hilarious. Those kids, they kill me... I need to try and catch more episodes. I think they show it on one of the YLE channels...)

Overall, the film was... Well, I liked it, yes, I think it was quite charming and presented a kind of male bonding in a very nice way. It had genuinely funny moments (the cursing... the best part of the film. And when during Bernie's big speech Lionel is mouthing him the F word, hahaha...) and the parallels to historical events gave it more depth. A very good film it is. But I don't wish February 27th to be its day. There are other films that have striked me as more memorable and deserving and, well, striking. Let dear Colin take home his golden statue, but I don't think The King's Speech should be remembered as the best film of 2010. (It WOULD deserve an award for the best usage of curse words, though...)

"Long pauses are good. They add solemnity to great occasions."
"Then I must the solemnest king who ever lived."


Anna said...

I'm very interested to see which way the Academy is going to go this year ! But TBH whatever the winner is, I don't think it will go down in history as something people will be watching over and over again in 10 years.

Paivi [Elokuvablogi.com] said...

I on the other hand would give the statue to King's Speech rather than Social Network - which I believe are the two films competing of the most important statues. Firth should get his Oscar, although I truly loved also James Franco in 127 Hours.

Anonymous said...

This movie deserves the Oscars it gets, more so than TSN as Päivi said...This was funny, touching, witty and superbly acted, yay!

Anonymous said...

Siding with Anna here: This film is foreshadowed a bit by its genre form and the nationalism it brings with.
Use of curse words though <3!

Eeva said...

Anna: Agreed, there has really been few films like that in the recent years...

Paivi: I agree that it'll probably be those two films that will compete for the most important awards. Aaaaand I think I'm still rooting for TSN, as my unbeatable number one favourite TS3 won't unfortunately have a chance in the Best Picture category.

Mikaela: As I said above, my thumbs will probbaly be up for TSN (though I don't mind if TKS wins), just because it happened to make a bigger impression on me in the cinema. Anyhow, it'll be exciting to see what'll happen!

(Second time within a week I burned my lunch because I was busy blogging... When will I learn?)

Eeva said...

And cinefiliaa, YES! Cursing never sounded so right. ;)

Marja said...

I love this film, but I have to agree with you that it (even if it pains me to say it) that it doesn't deserve the best picture award... but if Colin doesn't take the Oscar home, I'm going to have a FIT!

Eeva said...

Yeah... As sympathetic it was, it lacked the WOW!-factor.