The King’s Speech comes in at just under two hours, and while I’m giving myself until I finish this writing to decide on a score, I think it will come in just under a perfect score.
Don’t get me wrong, The King’s Speech is a really good movie, and the performances and cinematography are outstanding. Really good. Colin Firth is great as King George the VI (Does this guy ever give a bad performance? The answer is ‘no,’ in case you were wondering – and he’s already wont he Golden Globe for best actor in recognition of his performance, but then, he probably should have won last year for A Single Man.), as is Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue, his speech therapist. I think it’s hard to say whether Rush or Firth are the lead in this movie… Rush does quite a bit of scene stealing, but I suppose Firth has a bit more screen time and is in the titular role, so he gets it by default – but don’t underestimate Rush for a second – he’s great in this. Not to be ignored are supporting roles by Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth and Guy Pearce as King Edward VIII are both great – Pearce is so good it took me some time to realize it was him. And for good measure, they were able to sneak some character actors like Michael Gambon into the movie as King George V. Pearce is particularly good in a scene after King George V’s death, as is Carter, when she is consoling Firth near the end of the film before the titular speech. And just for good measure, Timothy Spall shows up as Winston Churchill – which brings us up to three Harry Potter cast members, including Carter and Gambon. Too bad they didn’t cast Daniel Radcliff as Rush’s son.
The movie is well paced, dramatic, yet fun. I don’t see it winning best picture (if I were a betting man, I’d go with Black Swan), but I bet Firth wins best actor, or Rush wins best supporting actor. It’s a great movie, but I can’t give it a five. It’s a little too safe – meaning the movie doesn’t take any chances, but then, it’s based on history, so they can’t get too crazy, and I shouldn’t fault them for that, but I have. Finally, with a second World War looming, one could make the argument that the King’s stammer is the least of England’s worries, but it’s pretty obvious to me now that those folks didn’t see it that way. I strongly recommend this movie.