Sunday, February 6, 2011
T-T-T-Today, Junior: The King's Speech Review
Anyone that has any little fear about public speaking can relate to the stammering of King George VI (portrayed with amazing precision by the future Best Actor winner, Colin Firth), nicknamed Bertie, and that is precisely the reason why the film works on many different levels. At the beginning of the film, his stutter is devastating: in one of the many extremely tense and awkward scenes in the movie, it's almost uncomfortable to sit in the theater seat and watch (This helps the major payoff at the end of the film in relation to seeing someone overcome adversity in the face of pressure and stress). He has been ridiculed throughout his entire life about his stammer, mostly by his father, King George V, and his brother, King Edward VIII. When King George becomes ill and dies, Bertie's older brother Edward becomes King, but his reign comes to an end suddenly and quickly due to the love of a divorced women. Bertie, now King George VI, becomes King during one of the most important wartime eras in history. Consequently, that means that Bertie becomes the center of attention, and he must deliver one of the most important speeches declaring war against Hitler's Germany.
Lately, The King's Speech has been stealing the momentum of The Social Network in the Best Picture Oscar race. I can see why; however, I think that The Social Network is the better film, a better film about "now" and one that shows the world how it is today. But: I'm not going to go too far and say that I will be disappointed if The King's Speech brings home the big trophy. Although it is the definition of perfect wanking material for the older Oscar voters, The King's Speech is an uplifting story about a man overcoming personal adversity in the face of enormous pressure, a story about the benefits of a loving wife and a true friend, and a story about the nervousness we all feel at some point in our lives. (B+)