January 5, 2011 in movies
I’ve been looking forward to seeing The King’s Speech ever since I saw the trailer back in October. It opened here in Australia on Boxing Day, so the boy and I headed along to see whether it lived up to the hype.
After about 40 minutes of ads and trailers (is anyone else finding that the “pre-show program” is reaching a ridiculous length?), we were launched into the world of the British royal family between the World Wars.
Colin Firth plays Prince Albert, who is second in line to the throne and known to his family as Bertie. He suffers from a terrible stammer and, as a result, fears speaking in public. He sees all the best speech therapists in the land to no avail. His proper but loving wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), seeks out a lesser-known Australian therapist (Geoffrey Rush), whose methods are unorthodox and distinctly un-royal.
The story is set against the lead-up to World War II and the abdication of King Edward. It is a fascinating story in its own right but the performances by the three leads make this film a true pleasure to watch. I was particularly impressed with Helena Bonham Carter’s subtle and emotive portrayal of the Queen Mother – after seeing her in only very extreme roles recently, it was really enjoyable to watch her in this historical drama.
The King’s Speech is already generating a lot of awards buzz, with Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for the three leads and the film itself, and I think it’s well deserved. This film is my pick of the summer.