At last, a film I want to see.
I believe everyone agrees 2008 was a low quality film year so I’m hoping this is a sign of things to come.
When I hear about this film, see the trailer and eventually sit down to watch it, I have a feeling of de ja vu; this time last year, it was Invictus, the triumphant story of Nelson Mandela’s longing for Africa to be united through the Rugby World Cup. I wondered then ‘where do we go from here?’
The Kings Speech is faultless. Well the film is, obviously the speech wasn’t and that’s why he had to get a speech therapist.
To those who haven’t heard the hype, King Edward Vlll is about to abdicate the throne in order to marry Mrs Simpson and Bertie, Duke of York (Colin Firth) is next in line. The story is that his wife (excellently played by the ever adaptable Helena Bonham Carter) books an appointment with recommended speech therapist, Lionel (Geoffrey Rush) as a last ditched attempt to help her stammering husband. The film is really about his relationship with his therapist, leading up to one of the most important royal speeches in modern history, the outbreak of WW2.
The second story is about Edward (ingenious casting, Guy Pearce) & Mrs Simpson who in this incarnation is obnoxious and not ‘what I would call’ beautiful. [I look forward to another film coming out which apparently portrays her in a different light]. Even though Edward appeared to be about 10 years younger and clearly above the attentions of an old Mrs S, I bought it.
There were several heart breaking scenes where we have an insight into royal life; the lack of emotion allowed when from the sons when their father, the King dies, the lack of friendships, the lack of warmth from the parents.
Therefore, I’m not a royalist, but it is a joy to see Elizabeth and Margaret as young happy children with doting parents – the late Queen Mother and King George Vl. I came away thinking that this was an era when the royal family were regal, probably the last time they will be.
The acting is superb throughout; Timothy Spall as Churchill, Eve West as Wallace Simpson, Michael Gambon as King George V and all the supporting cast.
It almost goes without saying the Colin Firth, always brilliant, is perfection in this film. How lucky we are in Britain to have such a fine pedigree of actors that can really act and not just play the same part over again as is so much part of Hollywood.
If this film doesn’t wipe the Oscar floor (not that I every watch the ceremony) then the world is a very unjust place indeed.
8½/10 Smile factor 9½/10