Sunday, January 2, 2011

The King's Speech

Movie name: The King's Speech
Year of release: 2010
Director: Tom Hooper
Stars:Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Jennifer Ehle, Derek Jacobi, Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon, Claire Bloom, Timothy Spall, Eve Best, Anthony Andrews
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8

Tom Hooper has made his name directing TV shows and mini series that have been showered with awards, namely "Elizabeth I" and "John Adams". "The King's Speech" is another period piece and follows the (true) story of King George VI and his relationship with his speech coach, Lionel Logue. King George VI, also Duke of York had stuttering problems and after trying to get help from a considerable number of specialists, with the aid of his wife, he decided to follow the unusual methods of Lionel Logue, an Australian actor. With a lot of perseverance and with the unusual dynamics between these strong personalities, the Duke starts making progresses with his speech impediments. When the Duke is forced to become King, after his brother's decision to abdicate to marry Wallis Simpson, it's up to Lionel to provide all the assistance and help to the King's speeches in a time of war.
Tom Hooper is clearly someone with a keen eye for good performances and for period pieces. "The King's Speech" is fantastic in the details of the time period and excels in the performances of the actors. Hooper smartly lets the actors be the main thread of the film, in particular Colin Firth's King George VI/Bertie - he creates a man who has a speech impediment, due to his own insecurities, to his emotional losses and who with the help of his loving wife, is trying to overcome his limitations. Bertie is trying to overcome a life ruled by some fears, things that are confronted dramatically when he becomes King and needs to make public speech his second nature. Geoffrey Rush creates a great character in Lionel, a man who looks to find the person behind the impediments, someone who is fearless in his approach, but also sensitive and inquisitive. Helena Bonham Carter is, as always, fantastic, creating a Queen who is loving, supportive and fierce in her approach to her new found position. The cinematography of Danny Cohen is fantastic as is the music of Alexandre Desplat. This is a great film, of triumph of the will over adversity and the meaning of friendship in odd circumstances.