Sunday, January 23, 2011

Review: The King's Speech

Straight from the King's mouth: Director Tom Hooper turns what could have been another boring lecture from your history teacher into a fascinating, inspirational biopic about giving lectures.

After the death of King George V, his scandalous son, King Edward VII, inherits the throne but gives it up shortly afterwards to his younger brother, King George VI, who must seek help from a speech therapist for his impediment.

Tom Hooper shows us what he's capable of with The King's Speech, his first mainstream hit. Hooper is obviously capable of understanding his stories and telling them so well that things just flow smoothly from one scene to the next, which gives this film a feeling of simplicity that allows the excellent preformances to captivate and sweep you off your feet into the story whithout anything going over your head.

And the preformances truly do make this film great. Colin Firth is arguably one of the most mesmerizing actors of our generation because he does such a nice job at drawing you in and making you feel something for his characters, particularly in this film; he does a nice job capturing the essence of who King George V was and what he was going through. Geoffrey Rush is superb as Lionel Logue, the King's speech therapist. The two play very well off each other and their scenes together is where most of the very funny comic relief is found. Helena Bonham Carter and the rest of the supporting cast also give great preformances, which really round out the film.

David Seidler's script, though brilliant in capturing the essence of each character and the inspiration that make this film worth it, feels a little dry, as well as cliche, at times. Not everything is developed 100%, which doesn't allow the drama to grow and flourish to the point of total emotional domination or satisfaction.

Still, The King's Speech is a solid Oscar contender with simple feel that flows along smoothly and an inspirational story lead by terrific performances all around.

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