Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Newest Movie Watched: The King's Speech

I don't often get out to the movies much anymore, so I usually wait until they show up on Netflix. Last night I watched THE KING'S SPEECH for the first time - the dvd actually arrived a few weeks ago but I'd lost track of it. It happens sometimes.

Anyway, I'm probably one of the few remaining people in the known world who hadn't seen this, but now I'm happy to say that - yes - I've seen it and loved it to pieces. (No big surprise there - you know what an Anglophile I am.) The Brits do this sort of historical movie so very very well. They are masters of the form. Colin Firth was deserving of his Oscar, it would have been an outrage if he HADN'T won. I'm just glad he did. I'm saying it belatedly, but I'm saying it. He was superb at George VI, the reluctant king.

In my view, Geoffrey Rush was just as wonderful as the King's eccentric speech therapist, Lionel Logue. But then, for me, Geoffrey Rush can do no wrong. He is superb in anything he undertakes.

And while I'm at it, I'm going to mention Helena Bonham Carter who in her own quiet, steely way is every bit as good as Firth and Rush. I was watching and thinking, this woman will live to be a 100. I kept looking at the little Elizabeth and thinking she is Queen now going into her 90's soon. I mean, the film fairly drips with history on-going.

It's funny how fate works. George VI was the right king at the right time - for a war-torn England. His brother, the ineffectual and let's face it - not very bright - David, Prince of Wales (Edward VIII) would have been a disaster - might even have hurt the war effort. Thank goodness he was forced to abdicate when he did. Ironically, we have a lot to thank Wallis Simpson for - in my view.

THE KING'S SPEECH is a truly memorable movie - a classic. If by some throw of the dice you haven't seen it, all I can say is: don't wait another second.


  1. Interesting. Maybe I will see this.

    Also, a tidbit about Edward VIII. He was someone my mother researched and read about. He was way too close to the German government and an admirer of the Nazis -- and there was no way the British establishment would let him be the king. (Wallis Simpson was rumored to be close to the Germans/Nazis.)

    My mother showed me what she found about him in history books about WWII and showed me a photo of him wearing a Nazi uniform. I kid you not!

    John Lawton wrote a brilliant essay about anti-Semitism among the British rich and political establishment right before and at the start of the war. Fascinating piece. It should be online. (He writes a fictional series set during WWII in Europe.)

  2. I saw this movie on the second airplane flight from California on my way to Australia was outstanding, and at least a few hours of that 14+ hour flight passed quickly!

    I thought Jeffery Ruch should have also won an Oscar

  3. Thank goodness there are a few films out there that tell stories rather than are cartoons with live characters.

  4. Hello Yvette:
    Sadly, 'The King's Speech' did not really do 'it' for us. Beautifully filmed, wonderful costumes, some brilliant acting, but, ....!!!

    Perhaps the reason for this is that in Britain we have been somewhat saturated with these kinds of costume dramas.

  5. Well, I thought it was gobsmacking when I saw it on day of release! Colin Firth did an excellent job of portraying the fear and frustration of someone suffering with a speech impediment. Geoffrey Rush was wonderful as the slightly less reverential Aussie who cared enough to bully the King to keep going! Apparently our current Queen was delighted with HBC's portrayal of her mother saying she captured her 'eccentricities' extremely well.

    If you enjoyed this version of events, try and get hold of 'Bertie & Elizabeth' starring James Wilby and Juliet Aubrey. This TV film covers their courtship, through the harrowing breakdown of events leading to the abdication and beyond. As with all adaptations there are minor discrepancies with the truth (like Elizabeth being pregnant at the time of the 'Logue' situation) but it is a wonderful representation of period detail!

  6. Hi, Yvette -- I haven't been around enough, and I apologize for that! Too many reasons to bore you with (or I should say, with which to bore you!)

    Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush were both so superb in King's Speech that I remember thinking, which one are they going to pick to nominate as Best Actor? Obviously Firth, with the major role, but for Rush not to get at least the Supporting Actor was ridiculous. What a fascinating relationship between these men. Different scenes in that movie made cry a little for both of them. The final scene of the speech is just film-making at its best with 2 fantastic actors.

    I really liked your article and your take on the different aspects of the movie. Your very interesting facts about the history behind George and Elizabeth was fascinating to me. Kudos!

  7. Kathy: I did mention that David, Prince of Wales was 'not very bright.' The whole supposed Nazi sympathizing thing just proves my point. He would have been the wrong man at the wrong time. In my view, they had no choice really but to scoot him and Wallis out of the way - which they did, with little remorse it seems.

    He was a good dresser, though. The Prince of Wales.

    One of several interesting things about the whole Logue/Edward VI situation was that, from what I understand, Logue was Jewish. Something they don't make much of in the film, at least that I noticed.

    Such an interesting film. So beautifully done. I absolutely loved it.

  8. Pat: I hadn't even realized that Rush was NOT nominated. In what universe does that make any sense? Wow. What a travesty. He was brilliant. (Well, when is he ever not?)

    I also love Rush as the pirate captain in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

  9. Bill: Yes. A film that actually makes some kind of sense. What a novelty. And a film that, in a very romanticized way - yes- but a film, nonetheless that makes you feel good about being human.

    How's that for a change?

  10. Jane and Lance: Well, we can't all agree on everything. What a boring world it would be if we did. :)

  11. Sue: I am a fan of James Wilby. LOVED him to pieces in MAURICE with Hugh Grant....sigh!

    I will definitely look for the movie you mention.

    Anyway, lucky you that you saw this upon release. I would have loved to go with you! :)

  12. Classic Becky: Thanks so much, kiddo! I hope all is well. But it's nice to see you around these parts any time you want to drop in.
    I know 'life' sometimes interferes with our blogging - How dare it!

    Didn't want to do a full blown review since everyone else and his or her mother has already done it.

    You are SO right about Geoffrey Rush deserving an Oscar. And to NOT even be nominated. Travesty.
    Miscarriage of artistic justice.

    My two cents. :)

  13. Actually, Yvette, Rush WAS nominated. I watched the Oscars and was just sure he would get it. When Christian Bale won for The Fighter, I couldn't believe it. Rush had his usual enigmatic look when the announcement was made, but I bet he couldn't believe it either!

  14. A fine movie with stunning performances all around. I like getting my history through the movies even if sometimes it gets tweaked a bit for art's sake. Saves me a lot of reading time on history and biography tomes. Helena Bonham-Carter is really getting dissed by the awards these days. She's long overdue for something. I thought this was worthy of an Oscar for her (but hadn't a chance against the fave Melissa Leo). So contained, in control, and devoted. Sometimes she was even matronly and she's just not like that at all in real life.

  15. Yvette - I see 'B&E is available on your Netflix site!

    I have it on Dvd - and daughter and I will be watching it together tomorrow evening (she's a sweat-heart - bought me The Kings Speech Dvd for my birthday and B&E for Mother's Day!)

  16. I'vebeen wanting to see it but keep forgetting its out there.

  17. Becky: I misunderstood. Well, at least he was nominated. Although Christian Bale is a good actor, he's no Geoffrey Rush. Oh well, at least Rush already has an Oscar if I'm remembering correctly.

    Thanks for the correction, Becky.

  18. John: You said it on Helena Bonham Carter. She is one of our best if not most underrated actresses. She is perfection in this movie.

    John, history is what you make it. :)

  19. Sue: If it's available, I'll be watching it. :)

  20. Skye: Don't put it off. It's truly wonderful. A great story made even more special because it acually happened. :)

  21. I just saw The Fighter and Melissa Leo and Christian Bales' performances just blew me away.

    Although the movie is hard to watch, the acting is terrific.

    I am so glad those two won Oscars.


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