Sunday, November 28, 2010

Colin Firth and King George VI--Coming Soon

Of all of the new films coming to theaters in the next month to qualify for Academy Awards, one which I anticipate with great excitement is "The King's Speech".

Period costume dramas about actual historical figures, who overcome personal obstacles and achieve greatness, are no longer favored, and are rarely produced for the big screen any more.  When a movie like "The King's Speech" emerges with excellent notices, achieves popularity with audiences at festivals such as Toronto, and boasts top-notch writing delivered by actors of proven excellence (also including Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter), it feels like a winner. 

Maybe it's the Colin Firth factor. As his career matures, the films he makes carry an aura of importance.  I thought "A Single Man" was the best film I saw last year, and Firth's performance was brilliant, the best work he had ever done.  Now, his attachment to a film makes me pay attention.  Firth's involvement in a film has become something like the Meryl Streep stamp of quality.

To prepare for my eventual review, I will offer a short series of posts here about King George VI: the stammer that caused him embarrassment, and difficulty addressing the public; the therapy which forms the central drama of the film; his heroic speech to England on the eve of war; and the special identification the screenwriter had with the King.

I hope the film lives up to its early praise; it would be great to have a "prestige" costume drama become a crowd-pleaser that has a fighting chance against pre-packaged blockbusters at the Oscar derby.


  1. Hi Tom,

    I look forward to reading your forthcoming posts, always a pleasure to catch up with your work.

    The more adulation I hear about this film though the moe I'm shying away from it - I'm just feeling so much pressure to like it. Do you feel the same?

  2. Can't wait for your posts. I, too, greatly anticipate this movie, being a lover of costume dramas and Colin Firth equally.

  3. Ben, yes, I do want to like this film, if for no other reason than I admire the story and the circumstances around the creation of the screenplay. It feels like an underdog...all the more reason for me to want to root for it. I hope it isn't a disppoinement.

    Walter, I hope I meet your expectations... I plan to have a little fun with these posts.
    I look forward to both of your eventual reviews of The King's Speech!

  4. God I can't wait, although my anticipation boils down to a forever long schoolboy crush on Ms. Bonham Carter, the fact that Geoffrey Rush is an absolutely awesome hambone and Tom Hooper's Elizabeth I being the best Elizabeth movie (including Cate Blanchett's one, which incidentally had Rush...)

  5. Just saw the movie, The King's Speech and it was one of the best films I have seen in a long time. Excellent acting, great dialogue/writing and an intelligent look at a time in history too many of us forget. Worthwhile. So superior to the canned action flics we get from Hollywood. See it and judge for yourself.