The King’s Speech * *
Director: Tom Hooper.
Screenplay: David Seidler.
Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Timothy Spall, Derek Jacobi, Michael Gambon, Jennifer Ehle.
Cleaning up at the Oscars (which this did) doesn’t neccessarily mean a film is a masterpiece. “Titanic” is proof enough that undeserving films can also sometimes triumph. This is not as bad as that earlier stinker but it’s certainly not as good as critics have hailed it to be either.
Prince George (Colin Firth), known as ‘Bertie’ to loved ones, has been afflicted by a debilitating stammer since his childhood. And when his brother Edward (Guy Pearce) abdicates the throne and war looms, he reluctantly turns to Australian Doctor Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), a speech therapist whose unconventional methods bring faith to the new King’s voice.
Bias may be a problem in my review of this film, as I find it hard to be objective when the object of our affection is a pampered, privileged monarch who’s only concern is a speech impediment that prevents him from publicly addressing his royal subjects. Added to which, the man is also an arrogant self important prick. That being said, if taken as a depiction of human suffering through disability, it’s an admirable representation. A major jewel in it’s crown is that it’s beautifully shot with a very authentic feel for it’s 1930’s period. The performances are also flawless throughout. Firth and Rush’s lingual jousting is the highlight of the film and more than able support is given by Guy Pearce as Edward the abdicator, Bonham Carter as the future Queen mother and Timothy Spall makes for a very believable Winston Churchill – who also happened to suffer a speech impediment at one time.
One star for the fabulous performances and another star for the rich and gorgeous cinematography of this period piece, but it’s a subject matter I don’t much care for, and it’s very difficult to summon sympathy for one that probably got help to wipe one’s own arse.