Monday, December 27, 2010

The King's Speech

On Christmas Day, I saw The King's Speech, starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush.

It's not difficult to speculate that this may be the role that finally earns Firth the Best Actor Oscar.

Firth plays Bertie, otherwise known as King George VI of England, as he struggles to cope with his problem of stuttering. His wife, who we knew as The Queen Mum, played wonderfully here by Helena Bonham Carter, is supportive and loving—constantly trying to find a professional to help him with his speech.

Enter Lionel Logue (Rush), an offbeat, unconventional therapist who will only work under the conditions he creates. This doesn't immediately mesh with the spoiled royal's philosophies, but he learns to embrace the rule when Logue's exercises begin to improve his speech.

The bulk of the film is the relationship between Lionel and Bertie, but there are strong supporting performances in the side story of King Edward VIII (Guy Pearce) abdicating the throne to marry American divorcée, Wallis Simpson (Eve Best). Pearce resembles the real royal so closely, it's borderline eerie. Best nails the essence of the bold Simpson, even if she's almost too pretty to be believed.

Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill would be my only complaint in the film. He portrays the iconic man in an exaggerated, over-the-top way that does no justice to the integrity he truly possessed.

Otherwise, Geoffrey Rush is so perpetually appealing, and Colin Firth is so consistently brilliant illustrating the progression of speech that it would be difficult to find fault with any other portion of this masterpiece.

I was entertained and enthralled from start to finish by what could easily be considered a boring topic. That's a testament to the sharp writing, the balanced directing, and most of all, the amazing acting.



Norm Gregory said...

I suggest Churchill was an over-the-top kind of guy. He's portrayed that way in other productions.

Tassoula said...

I guess we'll agree to disagree. My image of the real Churchill is powerful, but not obnoxious.