Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Archive - The King's Speech Review - Vue Cinema

Review written for Doncaster Free Press (January, 2011)

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The King’s Speech is the latest home-grown film that’s been making waves on both sides of the Atlantic, garnering Golden Globe nominations and raising Oscar hopes for those involved.

There is always a worry that critical acclaim and awards’ talk does not necessarily guarantee an entertaining film (yes, I’m looking at you, The English Patient). However that scepticism is rapidly washed away as the film proves equally as entertaining for the public as for the critics.

Colin Firth will surely be clearing a space on his mantelpiece, owing to his magnificent portrayal of the future George VI, struggling with a severe stammer that hampers all attempts at public speaking. When a country needs a King to speak for them, what use is a King without a voice?

The future Queen Mother (Helena Bonham Carter) enlists the services of unconventional speech therapist, Geoffery Rush to aid her husband. It is this relationship that the film focuses upon, as the ‘commoner’, Rush begins an uneasy friendship with the future King, much to the latter’s initial discomfort.

The film encompasses wider events; from the relationship between Edward and Wallis Simpson; to the rise of Hitler and the build up to World War Two; the director Tom Hooper convinces in his depiction of this time, and elicits exemplary performances from his actors (a miscast Timothy Spall as Churchill is the sole exception).

At its heart the story is not so much about royalty, but rather a universal tale of friendship and a man’s attempt to overcome adversity. That he happens to be the King naturally gives the story added weight, and will undoubtedly help in the American market, but even for those who are not ardent monarchists, it is still a moving, funny, and inspirational tale and highly recommended.

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