Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Movie Review: The King's Speech

If you find yourself being asked this weekend by your husband or sweetheart what you'd like to do for Valentine's Day, why not see if "The King's Speech" is still playing near you?

It's an excellent movie, and the "R" rating it earned is for some crude language used during the therapy sessions -- I wouldn't take the little kids but be warned!  I think my son, who is fifteen would probably love this movie.  (I would like it more if I didn't have to worry about the language, but would more than likely, not let it stop me from taking him.)

In spite of that, I think this is a movie you and your Valentine will enjoy, for many reasons.  One of them being that even the Queen of England likes it, and it's a movie about her own father, the "accidental" king, who gained the throne basically by default, after his brother chose to marry a divorcee' from America instead of that path chosen for him because of his birth.  It's quite a story, really, and this particular royal was NOT ready for the crown, and was not as groomed for it as his brother was.

It's a beautiful movie to look at.  Set in the era just preceding World War Two and with a set so well done and in a place that is just gorgeous landscape--city and country.  The architecture in the royal residences, castles, cathedrals--as well as the beautiful tailored clothing, the cars.  It's just a feast for the eyes--especially for those of us that love vintage.

Anyone remotely interested in history, which all the people in this household are, will enjoy learning the back story of this reluctant king.  The horrifying scandal the eldest son brought upon his family was something the English--and especially the royal family did not expect from an heir to the throne.  The only thing that can be said for the prince who did not want the throne, was that at least he was honest, and did not keep this lady for an "on the side" woman as was alluded to by the speech therapist.

There are many moments when I marveled at the vulnerability of the royal family, and when it's all said and done, they really are people held hostage to their lifestyle by tradition and obligation.  

The relationship between the king and his eccentric speech therapist turns out, after all,  to be something very beneficial to them both, but more to the King in the end.  He gained something he had never truly had before:  a friend, and not only a friend, but a common man--a friend who valued him enough to tell him the truth--about himself and others.

The cast is stellar, and you have to know when Colin Firth is in a movie, and Geoffrey Rush, too, you can hardly go wrong.  You will not be disappointed in any of these performances.  Geoffrey Rush was involved in bringing this story to film and more can be read about the story behind the movie here.

One of the more likable characters in this movie is the king's wife, played here by Helena Bonham-Carter:  she is just plain delightful.  She plays the character so well that it brings to mind the saying "Behind every good man, is a great woman..."

This is not a chick flick.  It's more of a quiet historical drama--because it's not the same feeling of patriotism and revolution in blood and guts and "boom! boom! POW!" of cannons and rifles in "The Patriot".  Nor the raw, scream your lungs out and fight-to-the-death-for-freedom I felt in "Braveheart" as well as some of my other favorite--and loud--historical dramas.   

But there is a call in this quiet movie to be your best self--simply because your country needs you--and I think almost every man can identify with that.  

Back then it was even more important for leaders to be able to communicate with the people and this was a very high mountain for the accidental king to climb.

If you have English blood in you, like I do; from both sides of the family, I think you will recognize the derived from England demeanor of some your own relatives in this movie, too!

Here's a website to multiple trailers to the movie in case you haven't been able to catch them.  I will tell you that when I saw it, everyone in the theater clapped at the end.  That doesn't happen every day.

As for me?  I wouldn't mind seeing it yet again on the big screen and I'll also be sure have my blue-ray version reserved for when the movie is released to the public on April 19.  

(It's a rare thing when Hollywood makes something this good, let's get out there and support it!)

Have a HAPPY VALENTINE'S weekend!


Jane said...

Thanks for the movie review. I've been wondering if I would like this movie based upon the film clips. I love Helena Bonham-Carter and even find myself watching movies that I usually wouldn't (like Harry Potter), because she's in them.

Donna said...

What a wonderful review! And your timing is perfect because we just saw it yesterday. We go to a maximum of 2 movies in an entire year. The stuff that Hollywood puts out just isn't worth the money for the matinee tickets anymore! But I had read several bloggers say that they loved this movie, so I told DH that I wanted to go. It was wonderful! And we unexpectedly laughed quite a bit. It was a feast for the eyes and the human story was relatable and touching. Perfect casting too.

peggy said...

You have done an excellent job with your review. I am so hoping it will get lots of awards as well, so that we might have other movies of this caliber.
My grandson and some of his friends once referred to some bad language as "Sopranos words". Words that you know what they are but only the "Sopranos" use them. It's such a good movie you accept them as an important part of the story. I am old enough to remember lots about this time in history, if not the actual events, the talk that went on during those years. And I have a friend from England who will remember all of them. Can't wait to buy her the DVD. Thanks!!

jamiely78 said...

I saw the movie last night & loved it. I also highly recommend it. Colin Firth is very deserving of the awards & nominations he is receiving for this role.

The entire cast did a wonderful job!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. I'll make a point to see it!