20 January 2011

The King's Speech

With approximately 8 inches of snow falling on Kansas City this afternoon, the entire city apparently let employees go home at the same time, creating a brutal drive home.  My commute is normally thirty minutes, which has been stretched to nearly two hours in similar weather.  A movie theater happens to be down the street from the office, so I decided to catch The King's Speech and let the traffic clear.  Excellent decision.

The plot of The King's Speech is the stuff Hollywood executives dream about: a speech therapist helps a member of the British royal family in the 1930s and 40s overcome his stutter.  Exciting stuff, right?  I'd love to see someone piece together clips from the movie into a fake action movie trailer.  All kidding aside, the movie works on all levels, with a surprising sense of humor complementing the history.  Colin Firth deservedly received most of the plaudits for his outstanding performance as the Duke of York.  His stutter never seems forced, and he brings a unique humanity to a seemingly stuffy person.  The Duke and his unorthodox speech therapist, Lionel Logue, played by Geoffrey Rush, do not have the type of Royal/commoner relationship normally seen in movies.  Logue becomes a friend, as well as his instructor, even chastising his charge at times.  Rush offers a perfect counterpart to the serious Duke, adding a sense of levity that elevates the movie above most period dramas.  Both actors deserve the Oscar nominations they are almost certain to receive next week.  Helena Bonham Carter is also a favorite for nomination.  While she used to be the queen of the period drama, her parts anymore all seem to be oddballs that fit her marriage to Tim Burton nicely.  Good to see her in something normal again.


  1. Just watched this with the wife tonight. Thanks for providing the little prodding I needed to convince myself and her to start this one. Period pieces for whatever reason require me to be in a certain mood - as a result I usually pick something else first.

    What a great surprise of a movie. It's so refreshing when a movie can engage me so fully with strong dialogue alone.

    I would not be surprised if both Firth and Rush actually win their Oscars.

  2. Have you seen The Kids are All Right yet? Despite being released early in the year it also deserves the nominations this year. It also has fantastically written and delivered dialogue, with some of the most awkward and hilarious moments in a movie this year.

    It makes me both thrilled and terrified of being a Dad to a teenage daughter someday.

  3. I saw The Kids Are All Right recently, but I didn't really care for it much. The cast was good, but I didn't find the movie to be all that interesting. At least it was a lot better than Inception. I plan to write a lot more about the Oscars later. Still a few nominees I haven't seen, plus some others from 2010 that I really want to see.