The King's Speech

By James Burbidge

Country: UK
Running time: 110min
Certificate: TBC
Directed by: Tom Hooper
Featuring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter

Released: 7/1/11

The King's Speech


The King’s Speech is clearing up at the awards ceremonies so far. Sweeping the board at the BIFAs (Best: Film, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, and Screenplay) and leading the nominations at the Golden Globes, it’s sure to be in the running come the Oscars. Which is fantastic news for an “indie” British film. And it is good, very good. Just maybe not great.

Colin Firth plays ‘Bertie,’ second son of King George V through “the year with three kings.” Hampered by a stammer since childhood he has stayed out of the public’s eye, perfectly happy with his loving wife and doting on his two daughters. Following his father’s death Bertie’s strong sense of tradition, honour and duty make fraught the relationship with his brother, King Edward VIII. Played with a cut-glass accent by Guy Pearce, Edward’s playboy lifestyle and relationship with a married woman are causing uproar amongst those trying to run the country. As war looms, the importance of radio broadcasts becomes more obvious and Bertie’s wife leads him to the unusual Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue. Thus begins the story of a cross-class friendship and an underdog story set amongst the most privileged family in the country.

This film knows what it’s doing and it does it well: the actors are impeccable, and fully deserving of every nomination they get; it looks beautiful, as any English period film must (by law); and the classical soundtrack is lovely, if familiar. And whilst all of this adds up to a good film, I’m just not quite sure it adds up to a great film. It is not utterly predictable, but there is a certain inevitability to the film, both because of it’s foundation in history and because it’s an underdog story. So whilst being moving, and pretty and very effective, I don’t expect it to take top prize come the end of February.

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About The Author

James Burbidge James performs a plethora of tasks for Raindance; writing articles, editing the newsletter, managing Twitter, helping on courses, organising volunteers and running the script services are but a few of the ones he is allowed to tell you about.
When he isn’t daydreaming about daylight he watches films (well, duh!) reads a bit, writes a bit and kicks arse at ultimate Frisbee.




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