Monday, February 7, 2011

"The King's Speech" - in theaters

This movie is receiving accolades out of the wazoo, and, in my opinion, deservedly so. Each of the principal actors have been nominated for Academy Awards, not to mention picking up noms for best director, original screenplay, and best picture of the year.

The story is set in England in the 1930's, and focuses on Colin Firth's character, the soon to be King George VI. But the movie begins before he assumes the throne, and we get to see a little of the history behind his ascending to the crown. When his father dies, George's older brother becomes King Edward VIII (played by Guy Pearce). But Edward has a taste for "scandalous" women, and when he takes up with an American divorcee, the entire British government loses their shit. So Edward abdicated, leaving George to become King.

But the thing is, George has a stammer that has hampered him his entire life. You can really see how it brings him such shame, because he cannot, in his own view, be a great leader and speaker with the stammer. So his wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), takes it upon herself to find him someone who can help eliminate the stammer. The methods that some of the doctors use are absolutely outrageous (like the one guy who suggested that George should smoke because it relaxes the throat muscles), and George gets very frustrated by it all.

And then, Elizabeth finds Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). Logue is an Australian-born speech therapist with a passion for acting. His methods are unorthodox, and it takes the king quite a while to get used to them and become comfortable practicing them even when in Logue's office.

Now, while that's all well and good, this movie isn't really about the stammer. It's about a friendship that forms between two men. It's about George finally realizing with a little help from Lionel, that he can be a great king in the fact of the horrors of Hitler and war.

The actors are all nominated for Oscars, so that really speaks for itself. I find it resplendent when Helena Bonham Carter plays someone not totally insane, and here she is so mild-mannered and a truly loving wife and mother. It's fantastic. And the way that Colin Firth transformed himself into this character is astonishing. I was obsessed with watching how he made his throat struggle whenever he spoke. Not to mention Geoffrey Rush, who is just a working class man trying to help another man overcome a disability. And he makes you laugh while he does it.

On the CWeave scale, I rate this movie a 10. Seriously. Go see it. It is funny, touching, and heartbreaking all at the same time. All jokes aside, this movie is the real deal.

No comments:

Post a Comment