Speaking the speech in stellar The King's Speech | Film Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Speaking the speech in stellar The King's Speech 

Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush in "The King's Speech"

Photo by Laurie Sparham/ The Weinstein Company

Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush in "The King's Speech"

Why do you go to the movies? Is it to see Ryan Reynolds shimmer in a CGI Green Lantern suit, as promised in a recent trailer? Or do you prefer to watch splendid actors do what they love—acting? The latter is not easy to find in an industry increasingly dedicated to mindless spectacle.

In The King's Speech, Colin Firth plays George, the father of Britain's Queen Elizabeth. His elder brother, Edward, the Prince of Wales, is in line for the throne, and George—or Bertie, as he is known to his family—is hobbled by a painful stutter and is deeply conflicted about public life. His sure knowledge that he will never reign is upset when Edward's shocking liaison with a Baltimore divorcée alters the line of succession. Bertie's devoted wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), finds a specialist in speech therapy, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). Flippant and gifted, Logue breaches the royal carapace to give the future King George VI his voice.

Not merely a lusciously creamy Masterpiece Theatre-style history lesson, David Seidler's screenplay has a satisfyingly hesitant arc. Bertie isn't steadily and miraculously cured. If everyone has, to a greater or lesser degree, a fear of public speaking, few of us are burdened with the fear that the fate of a nation rests on our performance. Yet it's easy to identify with Bertie's mic fright.

The royals are portrayed as deeply out of touch with their subjects; Elizabeth is delighted to figure out for herself how to use an elevator. And the past inevitably evokes the current state of the monarchy. Will the current Queen Elizabeth (here shown as a rosy child) pass the succession to her grandson, skipping her own son, Prince Charles, whose former mistress, now wife, he wishes to be queen, should he ascend the throne? And a cinematic visit to Westminster Abbey can't help but set the stage for another royal marriage pageant next April.

The best reason to see the film is a simple one: Firth and Rush clearly love acting together, and their pleasure is contagious. If the ever-adorable Firth wins an Oscar (and better for The King's Speech than A Single Man, which was pretentious homoerotic kitsch—not that there's anything wrong with that), then well done for him, but Rush deserves half.

Tags:

Film Details

The King's Speech (R)
Rated R · 111 min. · 2010
Official Site: www.kingsspeech.com
Director: Tom Hooper
Writer: David Seidler
Cast: Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Timothy Spall, Michael Gambon, Geoffrey Rush, Jennifer Ehle, Derek Jacobi, Max Callum and James Currie

Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for The King's Speech (R)

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Film Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

I'd be more interested with different actors, but at least it's not a fucking super hero movie or squequel, so …

by terryboo on H.P. Lovecraft Meets Art House Cinema in the Odd, Ominous A Ghost Story (Film Review)

Spiderman homecoming is the best spider man movie that I have seen yet https://goo.gl/jhKahk

by Hazel Gomez on Spider-Man: Homecoming Makes a Fifty-Five-Year-Old Hero Feel Like a Kid Again (Film Review)

Most Recent Comments

I'd be more interested with different actors, but at least it's not a fucking super hero movie or squequel, so …

by terryboo on H.P. Lovecraft Meets Art House Cinema in the Odd, Ominous A Ghost Story (Film Review)

Spiderman homecoming is the best spider man movie that I have seen yet https://goo.gl/jhKahk

by Hazel Gomez on Spider-Man: Homecoming Makes a Fifty-Five-Year-Old Hero Feel Like a Kid Again (Film Review)

I was born and raised in Bertie County, and believe me, this was painful and beautiful to watch. I was …

by Tar Heels forever on Know More About Manhattan Than Your Embattled Neighbors in Rural North Carolina? Then See Raising Bertie. (Film Review)

Clint's film is trashy? maybe that's why all of us pigs would like to wallow in it.

by Jovana Dimitrijevic on In Her Remake of Clint Eastwood's Lurid, Trashy The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola Probes Deeper Rhythms (Film Review)

Thanks for spoiling the movie. Just because you didn't like it doesn't mean you have to ruin it for everyone …

by Carly L. on The Book of Henry Is a Blatant Tearjerker Whose Elaborate Plot Serves a Useless Solution (Film Review)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation