Saturday, January 29, 2011

"The King's Speech"

Okay, so moving on from Portman... The Oscar nominees of last year were announced earlier in the week. So there we go with that. Now we know who is who in the Academy Awards, and we'll see what happens.

But I'm not ready to provide an opinion on the Oscar nominees just yet. I still have a very important film for the Oscars to take care of with twelve nominations.

Let's get going with today's movie then, shall we?

The King's Speech

Prince Albert, Duke of York (Colin Firth) has a very serious speech impediment: he stammers in his speech, particularly when in public. It makes public speaking a nightmare for him, and everyone in his family knows it. Thus, his wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham-Carter) takes it upon herself to hire Lionel Logue (Geoffery Rush) to help Albert deal with his speech impediment.

And things kind of take off from there.

I'll start with the obvious: this is very much an actor's movie. A lot of the movie hinges on the actors being able to endear their very real characters to us, and in this they all do marvellous jobs. Colin Firth is unmistakeable as King George VI, and we can see how much anguish his condition causes him as it is always present in everything he does. Helena Bonham-Carter, while not having as much screentime as I would like, comes in as the ever-merciful wife who wants the best for her husband because she genuinely does care about his happiness. In the acting, though, I felt Geoffery Rush stole the show with Lionel Logue, a guy who is both simultaneously perceptive and hilarious at the same time. He portrayed Logue with perfect grace and a certain amount of levity, and it was incredible to watch, and every time Rush appeared my concentration was on him.

So the actors carry a large portion of the movie on their shoulders. Unfortunately... it wasn't completely enough. Sure, there were some inspiring moments to be found in this movie, but I mostly just felt middling about the whole affair. It had the potential to be so much more, but something about the directorial style felt a little detached from the action. Thus, some scenes had slightly less emotional impact than they really should have had. This dragged the film a little bit.

Fortunately, the strength of its acting helps The King's Speech become somewhat memorable. I for one don't exactly think it's Oscar material, but the strength of the performances from everyone involved still give it some oomph. And Colin Firth's nod is completely deserved.


It has a few flaws, but it's still worth checking out.

This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I'll see you guys next time.

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