The King’s Speech Speaks Volumes

Normally, we here at Why So Blu deliver up-to-date reviews and information the day of or after a film hits theaters.  It’s not typical that we discuss a film that is a few weeks old.  Take for instance The King’s Speech.  This film was released in late November, but after seeing it today, it was just far too exceptional to leave it off our list of content.  Starring Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, and Geoffrey Rush, the trio take part what would have been my #1 film of 2010 had I seen it before year’s end. 

The King’s Speech has not received the advertising blitz that more pop culture films have the luxury of.  Though the theater was nearly at full capacity as I watched it, I wondered how this movie could not have received more fanfare than it has.  The movie tackles the historical accuracy of Prince Albert, affectionately known by those closest to him as “Bertie.”  Albert would eventually be given the mantle of King of England upon which he assumed the name, King George VI.  The Duke of York (aka Prince Albert) was never intended to take on such a momentous role in the British Empire, especially since he was plagued by a nearly life-long speech impediment.  With an excessive stutter, Prince Albert was to do no more than show up at public engagements and festivities, while providing a few short words.  After an unexpected turn of events within the family, become king he did.

Colin Firth (Love Actually, Mama Mia!) takes on this momentous role and has done so with such powerful delivery that anything short of an Oscar would be shameful on the Academy’s behalf.  Perhaps there is some bias in my words coming fresh out of the cinema with the film’s content still ringing true in my mind.  Nevertheless, Firth gave something beyond an admirable portrayal.  His daily tribulations in wrestling with his words conveys a frustration that the audience instantly feels.  Compounded by the task of speaking in front of thousands only made an already undesirable matter that much worse, carrying it to extreme levels of fear and embarrassment. 

Eager to help her verbally ailing husband, Helena Bonham Carter’s character, the eventual Queen Elizabeth, answers a classified advertisement in the newspaper.  With a history of empty results acquired from countless “royal” doctor visits, she decides to give the common man a try.  Enter Geoffrey Rush (Pirates of the Carribean) as one Lionel Logue.  A man of deep Australian pride, Logue works persistently to aid and assist Prince Albert over and through his rocky path of stammering and resulting frustration.  Implementing the typical with the unconventional, Logue provides an array of vocal exercises and psychological tools that Bertie begrudgingly attempts to work at.  

Since history is the greatest spoiler, there is no harm in my mentioning that King George VI’s most significant challenge was giving his radio speech in 1939, calling his countrymen to arms against Hitler’s nazi regime.  In referring to Firth’s real life counterpart, King George VI’s delivery must have felt like a marathon in his mind during the course of that speech.  This film deserves nothing less than five stars and Firth nothing less than an Oscar.  Director Tom Hooper made certain the film stayed true to its historical roots while the actors involved gave audiences an unforgettable movie experience.  The King’s Speech is a gripping, emotional ride that provides a volume of motivation along the way if nothing else.  It has been quite a long time since I had attended a film where the audience applauded at the end.  After watching The King’s Speech, I can reset that clock. 


4 Responses to “The King’s Speech Speaks Volumes”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    I’m with you all the way here Gregg. The film only barely missed my top 10 list, it’s truly fantastic and is thankfully doing quite well at the box office, considering its appeal compared to more mainstream fare.

  2. Loot

    You nailed this review spot on. I can’t remember a film that has left such a mark with me as this one. So compelling, gripping and fantastic acting should definitely reap this film several awards. Let’s hope the Academy, in their sometimes miniscule minds, have a light bulb go off in their heads and have already picked this movie and its actors award winners. It is a movie not to be missed and I’m so glad I didn’t.

  3. Brian White

    I just don’t think I can do this film 🙁

  4. Aaron Neuwirth

    Yeah, not every film can be both well acted and entertaining like Piranha 3D.