Thursday, 13 January 2011

The King's Speech

UK Release: 7th January 2011
Watched in the cinema: Wednesday 12th January
Rating: 15
Runtime: 1hr 58 mins
Tagline: The nation awaits...

IMDb Plot Summary: Tells the story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. After his brother abdicates, George ('Bertie') reluctantly assumes the throne. Plagued by a dreaded stammer and considered unfit to be King, Bertie engages the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue. Through a set of unexpected techniques, and as a result of an unlikely friendship, Bertie is able to find his voice and boldly lead the country through war.

A Review: You don’t need me to tell you that this is a remarkable film. Certainly the best I’ve seen so far this year, perhaps since The Social Network even. Just by looking at the raving reviews, queues outside of the cinema (quite long I can tell you!) and the wealth of actors on display (notably Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush whose scenes together were simply superb and also little Princess Margaret played by Ramona Marquez of Outnumbered fame) you can tell that this film will be quality. 
Certainly the plot is good too, and (amazingly for me) it didn’t sag at any point. Almost immediately from the tight close-ups of Firth, you felt an instant connection with the character. As anyone who has been embarrassed in public will know, the opening scenes of the film must have been mortifying for him. 
The King’s Speech was filmed with affection and with intensity. Close-ups were the signature of the film, along with a string of touching moments; gently moulding the well-known figures of the Royal family into real people that any cinema-goer can relate to. It must have been especially hard to write and act, seeing as the events are still very much in living memory (it was certainly a little odd seeing Princess Elizabeth from all that time ago), but it was done in such an affectionate way that, if anything, it will strengthen our feelings toward to Royal family for years to come. 
That’s what came off for me - it’s a film that makes you feel. You become involved with the King’s plight to overcome his stammer and indeed his father’s death and brother’s abdication. This film felt very different to other period dramas about Royals; it was much deeper, intense and modern. 
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone, young and old: and - mimicking the poster - it is definitely the ‘absolute must-see’ of the year.
Score: 9/10

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