Based on its premise, this movie should be incredibly boring. A wham bam action packed thrill ride of a movie, in which the climax is a timid, powerless king stammeringly delivering a speech via radio. I’m on the edge of my seat.

Here comes the twist.

The King’s Speech (rightfully nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture) was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time.  Glowing reviews aren’t always the most fun to read, but it’s hard to find fault with Tom Hooper’s film.  The dialog and David Seidler’s screenplay were superb, the acting was brilliant (especially from Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush), and the cinematography of Jeff Cronenweth was beautiful.

The dialog in The Speech would best be described as both immensely charming, intelligent, quirky, and at times hilarious.  I often caught myself smiling at the way things were said, just because I enjoyed the way they were said (and everything is more charming with a British accent).  I even laughed out loud several times throughout the movie, and once I laughed myself to tears (if you’ve seen it you know the scene).  The movie isn’t exactly a comedy, but it was one of the most humorous and enjoyable experiences I’ve had in the theater.  A rare Oscar-nominee for best picture that didn’t leave me wanting to jump into a black hole.

The interplay between Bertie, stuttering future King George VI of England (played by Colin Firth, nominated for Best Actor) and his unconventional Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush, nominated for Best supporting Actor) was quirky and rapid fire, neither actor missing a beat.  I would be shocked if Firth didn’t receive the Oscar for Best Actor simply for the challenge it would take to make such a character believable.  In the course of the movie he goes from the prickish, stuttering Duke of York, who I instantly took a disliking to, to the lovable stammering King of England.  The hard work he must have put into developing that character, and mastering the characteristic speech patterns, which never break, is staggering.  Another notable performance is by Helena Bonham Carter in the role of Queen Elizabeth.  She had a great on-screen chemistry with Firth, and she exuded an air of regality that any Queen must.  She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role.

The cinematography in the movie was awesome.  Any given frame of the movie could be printed and put on the wall as art.  The period costumes and sets complete with creaky floorboards, molding wallpaper, and royal palaces made me feel like I was there.  The whole movie is set against a backdrop of pre World War Two England, and you really feel the tension of a nation on the brink of war.  There is a scene showing families listening to the announcement of war on the radio that gave me chills.  It was followed by a drive through London, bomb sirens wailing, to a sandbagged Buckingham Palace.  These images take what could be a mundane story, and place it in the context of the most tumultuous time in human history, making it an inspirational, exciting, and heartwarming piece of cinema.

A couple Sundays from now I’ll be rooting for The Speech to unseat the favorite for Best Picture The Social Network.  With 12 nominations it’s sure to win several, but the Best Picture title is clearly the most prestigious.

If you only take one thing from this review it should be this: GO SEE THE KING’S SPEECH.

I apologize for the somewhat dry nature of today’s entry, but movies are a hobby of mine.  More of the usual entertaining (I hope) posts to come, I promise. That came off as really snooty….

Snootily yours,

-Andrew

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