“The King’s Speech” – 2010. Dir. Tom Hooper.

With Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi with Guy Pearce and Michael Gambon.

“Do you know any jokes?”

“T…t…timing isn’t really my strong suit.”

Colin Firth gives a tour-de-force performance as stammering Duke of York (then soon to be King) in Tom Hooper’s incredible “The King’s Speech”. The astounding Geoffrey Rush portrays Lionel Logue a speech therapist that the Duke’s wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) found in the classified ads. The Duke is being slightly groomed by his father, the King (Michael Gambon), because the eldest son Edward (Guy Peace) isn’t at all capable of being King.

The King dies, and Edward is appointed King. The world is on the brink of the Second World War. While Winston Churchill meets with the Duke about England being on the heels of war with Germany, Edward is gallivanting around with his twice divorced American mistress.

Edward decides to marry his mistress, and doing so, he would have to resign his title as King (since he is the head of the Church, and the Church doesn’t recognize divorce). This leaves the Duke of York to become King George IV. Deep down inside, I feel that George knew this was who he needed to be.

Lionel (Rush) had been working with King George prior to him taking the throne, but now the game has changed – the public is weary of George due to his stammer which they think is a direct reflection of his leadership skills. George needs to deliver a speech to address the nation about declaring war on Germany.

This film is the perfect combination of an epic period piece and a very small character study. The film’s script is impeccable, the sets and costume designs are perfect, and the acting is astounding. The scenes between Rush and Firth is what the film thrives on, but Firth gives yet again, the year’s best performance (last years of course was “A Single Man”).

It’s really a marvel to watch Firth work, everything he does seems so effortless, but considering he is playing a very, very important historical character (no less a King!) – he must have felt so much pressure and must have been so cautious to give the correct performance. I mean, he does play the father of England’s current Queen.

The screenplay to this film is so sharp and so fresh and I think this is the film that will beat “Inception” for Original Screenplay. After viewing this film, I was confident that Geoffrey Rush was bound to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar but that I saw “The Fighter” right after this.

This is an epic film, and while I still feel “The Black Swan” is the film of the year, “The King’s Speech” is pretty fucking close. And please guys, don’t be fooled – “The Social Network” is nowhere near as good as this film or “The Black Swan”. This is one of the most inspiring films that I have ever seen.

Fuck Facebook (I have one, add me).

Rating: 10/10

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Author: Frank Mengarelli

Everybody relax, Frank's here. After going to film school at Columbia College Chicago, Frank decided to underachieve with his vast knowledge of film into a career in civil service. Frank had a brief stint as a film blogger, and then he met the heterosexual love of his life, Nick Clement. The two instantly bonded over their love from everything to Terence Malick to THE EXPENDABLES films. Some of Frank's favorite filmmakers are Terence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Sylvester Stallone, Oliver Stone and Spike Lee. Some of his favorite films are THE TREE OF LIFE, STAR WARS (all of them), BAD LIEUTENANT, THE THING and ALL THAT JAZZ. Frank spends his free time with his dog Roger, collecting any Star Wars collectible he can find and trying to finish his pretentious, first person narrative novel(la), LARGE MEN IN SMALL CARS..

2 thoughts on ““The King’s Speech” – 2010. Dir. Tom Hooper.”

  1. I was surprised how much I ended up loving this film. I really appreciate it for its universal appeal, despite its status as a historical drama. The screenplay is extremely well-written, and it could have the year’s best ensemble.

    1. I agree on all fronts, though I am really torn about which film has the best ensemble. If I had to pick one film, I would probably have to say “The Fighter” has the years best ensemble performance.

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