The King’s Speech (2010)

Tom Hooper’s follow-up to 2009’s The Damned United, The King’s Speech carries audiences off to another period altogether. Set in the years leading up to World War II, the film centres on King George VI’s (Colin Firth) ongoing battle to overcome a crippling stammer. Mocked by his father and required to speak publicly as King when his brother unexpectedly abdicates, the former Duke of York must put aside his deferences with unorthodox speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) in order to give a nine page radio speech when war on Germany is finally announced.

Not one to frequent period dramas with anything resembling excitement, I all too often find myself disengaged and struggling to relate to the archaic priorities or dated pomp and circumstance. The King’s Speech, however, crafts such a compelling narrative that the historic trivialities soon cease to matter. Boiled down to a childhood stutter, the trials and tribulations of B..B..Bertie hit home with timeless power and naked reverence.

Somehow managing to trump his esteemed turn in Tom Ford’s A Single Man, Colin Firth utterly convinces as a man unaware of his innate greatness. A disbelieving King who mistakes reluctance for fear, Firth not only nails the technicalities of a convincing stutter but the crippling insecurities of a hugely courageous King. Despite his hard, duteous exterior, King George VI is a deeply sympathetic character – all thanks to the brilliant Firth.

That said, this is no one man show with a series of winning performances breathing life into David Seidler’s superb script. Without Geoffrey Rush’s Lionel Logue, the movie – and history for that matter – would be but a shadow of its true self. Bringing some much needed humour to the otherwise morose proceedings, Logue bring’s out the King’s hidden humanity. With the help of a refreshingly sane Helena Bonham-Carter, the two keep the tone graciously light to offset the darkness slowly enveloping Britain as war approaches.

Deeply moving yet achingly funny, The King’s Speech tells a great story against a grandiose backdrop to achieve a very personal drama with engaging purpose and occasion. A compelling script, subtle direction and triad of exceptional performances conspire to create one truly unforgettable movie with magisterial presence and timeless elegance.

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

2 Responses to The King’s Speech (2010)

  1. Pingback: January 2011 – It’s on like Donkey Kong « popcornaddict

  2. Pingback: Films of the Year – 2011 « popcornaddict

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