Sunday, December 19, 2010
The queen's English has nothing on THE KING'S SPEECH. This is quite simply the best film of the year, and I think this true story has gotten short shrift, despite its 7 Golden Globe nominations, which it deserves.
Colin Firth stars as the Duke of York("Bertie" to his family)and younger brother of King Edward VIII who scandalously left the English throne for the insufferably shallow divorcee from Baltimore, Wallis Simpson. No matter; Bertie was much the better man for the job and dad the King--George V played by Michael Gambon-- knew it, despite one small glitch: Bertie stammers. As conveyed here, it's a stammer of epic proportions,leaving stadiums full of people sweating uncomfortably on the edge of every cavernous pause. Enter Geoffrey Rush as eccentric speech therapist Lionel Logue-- yes "Logue" ironically related to the Greek and Latin roots "logos"/"logus" for"speaking"! What follows is a beautifully shot and paced period piece featuring an astoundingly sympathetic,funny,subtle,and complex performance by Colin Firth as the man who would be King George VI.
But it's a larger tale of anyone finding his/her voice in the deepest sense of LOGOS. The movie is quietly moving, and heralds the importance of emerging technology to shape a persona and the world. The supporting cast is superb: Helena Bonham Carter as the warm and witty future Queen mum, Guy Pearce as the weak-willed abdicating Edward, and Rush as Bertie's quirky mentor. Only Timothy Spall overplays as the cigar-toting, speech impaired (yes!) Winston Churchill.
I have seen THE KING'S SPEECH twice, and enjoyed it twice as much the second time. It's the film to beat this season(no I haven't forgotten THE SOCIAL NETWORK) and Colin Firth is the actor who should have the last word.
Posted by Joyce Kulhawik at 4:47 PM