As part of my resolution to see more Oscar-nominated movies, I saw The King’s Speech last night. As I admitted before, I probably would not be that interested in seeing it had it not been for the 12 Oscar nominations it received, including all the major ones: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Director. The King’s Speech, as everybody knows by now, is a British movie about the becoming of George VI (Colin Firth) as a king of England through psychological growth, overcoming his stammering, and developing an unlikely friendship with his speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush).
I would say the movie does a great job of portraying Albert (George VI’s name before he was King) and his emotional turmoil through the political climate, both in the world and in the royal family, at the time. This is to say that I enjoyed the script; but not less important are the actors’ performances. A friend of mine likes to say that Colin Firth has the exact same expression on his face in every movie, and I generally agree with her. He does have pretty much the same expression on his face throughout The King’s Speech, but one might argue that it is his interpretation of his character’s personality: he is a stuffed monarch uncomfortable in his own skin, even though he is a generally great person, and the movie is a story of this greatness coming out. Anyway, Colin Firth makes Albert/George VI a perfectly likable, even though temperamental person, and you root for him to overcome his speech impediment. Geoffrey Rush is the perfect actor to portray the unconventional speech therapist with controversial methods who ends up becoming Albert’s best friend. I haven’t seen that many Geoffrey Rush movies, but his performance in The King’s Speech reminded me of his portrayal of an eccentric pianist in Shine, which also brought him a Oscar nomination. Helena Bonham-Carter is good as Albert’s wife, although I feel like she is in every movie I see (even though I know this is objectively untrue).
Overall, my two cents is that The King’s Speech is a quality movie that is definitely worth seeing and that probably deserved all the love it received from critics. I would not say it’s perfect, but I can’t point any real imperfections, which makes it difficult to write a catchy review about it. I think The King’s Speech is more likely to win the Best Picture title than Inception, but it can still lose to The Social Network or some of the other movies I haven’t seen yet.