Yes, I admit it: I have a man-crush on Colin Firth – acting wise, I mean. Have you ever seen him put in a bad performance?I haven’t and his work in The King’s Speech is no different.
He stars as King George IV, or to his friends, Bertie. Bertie has a horrible stutter, so much so that when he is required to give a simple speech at the beginning of the film, he cannot even muster through it. His wife, wonderfully played by Helena Bonham Carter (it’s good to see her in a relatively normal role; well, she is playing a future Queen…so normal? Maybe not), finds an unorthdoxed speech therapist, an Australian part-time actor, Lionel Logue.
Logue, played by the brilliant Geoffrey Rush, is at first an annoyance to Bertie. He forces him to do seemingly ridiculous things in order to get to the root of his stutter; dance, jump, sing. Bertie will have none of it and eventually storms off. But then, as fate had it, Bertie became the King. Now he has a problem and he seeks out Logue.
Though Bertie is now King, Logue literally forces himself to be an equal. The two eventually bond and through some wonderful back and forth, become friends.
The whole cast is incredible and it seems, features most of the Harry Potter cast; Michael Gambon as King George, Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill and Bonham Carter. If Snape had walked in to cast a spell on Firth, I would have not been surprised.
There were some minor lulls in the middle of the film, but the reason to see it are the performances by Firth and Rush. Watching the two work with each other is a master class in acting.
The only problem I had with the film is at the end. We as an audience are rooting for the King not to stutter on his speech to the nation (if not the world), yet the whole reason for the speech is that the country is on the verge of war. This isn’t a happy time in the country and here we are happy that he didn’t screw up. It was kind of a weird moment for me walking out of the theater (or since this is a british film, theatre).
- Director: Tom Hooper
- Cast: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Jennifer Ehle, Derek Jacobi, Michael Gambon, Timothy Spall, Anthony Andrews