Skip to main content

THE KING'S SPEECH - A REVIEW

The King's Speech is a smartly written, beautifully photographed, impeccably acted, thoroughly engrossing movie.

Need more?

Did you enjoy The Queen? If you did, The King's Speech is a no-brainer. To be certain, the subject of The Queen is of recent memory while for most of us the details of the ascension of King George VI (Bertie) after the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII (David) in order to be with American divorcee Wallis Simpson are somewhat less clear. Americans are even less likely to be aware of Bertie's speech impediment. Consider it a learning experience.

Colin Firth as Bertie; Geoffrey Rush as his unconventional speech therapist, Australian Lionel Logue; and Helena Bonham Carter as Bertie's wife, Queen Elizabeth - mother of the current Queen Elizabeth - each contribute in different ways.

Firth's portrayal is sensitive and complex, presenting us with an unassuming man who in the end had sufficient inner strength to not only overcome his disability but prove to be the stronger of the two brothers after having spent a life being considered the weaker, both within his family and in his own mind.

Rush, who can go over the top when given free rein, brings just the right blend of humor, self-confidence, and authority to his role. He demands to be treated as an equal and in the end proves his right to be.

Bonham Carter's role might be viewed as subsidiary, but as the woman who comes to be known as one of England's most influential Queen Mothers, her quiet determination to prepare Bertie to take his rightful place undergirds the entire narrative.

The script, the sets, the photography, all are equal to the task. And yes, if the portrayals of Simpson and Churchill border on caricature, so what? Their appearances are brief and their points are made.

If you can appreciate a movie that can be totally engrossing without blowing things up or gratuitously displaying genitalia, this is a movie that you must see.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

CHÉ OLIVE / LE ZINC, CREISSAN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

No, it's not Chez Olive. It is indeed Ché complete with red star and black beret. I have no idea why and I wasn't about to ask. The French are the French and not to be analyzed too closely when it comes to politics, especially these days.

Creissan is the next town over from our village of Quarante. We pass through it often and Ché Olive is right there on the main road at the entrance to town. (One of the signs still says Le Zinc. Olive says he prefers Ché Olive though.) Olive opened it a couple of years ago after leaving the Bar 40, Quarante's basic local watering hole that's undergone a bit of a renaissance lately. We hadn't heard much about Ché Olive from our usual sources for dining recommendations. So we just kept passing by. For reasons not central to this review, we decided to stop in for lunch on a mid-week in late December.

The bar is cozy, the restaurant open and bright and modern. Newly renovated and perhaps a bit sterile. We were the first…

RESTAURANT ETIQUETTE IN FRANCE: SIMPLE PRIMER (WITH TONGUE IN MY AMERICAN CHEEK)

My recent reading of a poor internet review of a favorite restaurant of ours prompted this post. Some people simply should not be allowed internet access. Speech may rightly be free, but it shouldn't be worthless.

From reading the review, I could determine that the reviewer was a tourist who started out in a bad mood because he had to pay extra for parking a camper van that exceeded the maximum height for parking in the free lot. His party arrived at the restaurant at the end of lunch and without a reservation. At first, he was told that an empty table that he pointed out was reserved. When he persisted, he was informed that lunch was over. Since none of the other restaurants in town were still open, the reviewer had to miss lunch.

Let me count the ways...

RESERVATIONS ARE NECESSARY. Maybe not at Burger King, maybe not in a touristy restaurant in a touristy destination. But if you are really hungry, if you really want to try that restaurant that everybody's talking about, or …

FRENCH VISA AND HEALTH INSURANCE FOR AMERICANS

The most expensive item in an American family's budget may be health insurance. But many Americans have no understanding of the true cost of their insurance because it's included in their employment package. Folks simply don't think about how much their employer may be reducing their salaries when factoring in insurance costs.

Before I retired, my employer paid for my health insurance but I had to pay to insure my wife. The cost, taken out of my every paycheck, came to about $6,000 annually. And even with insurance, there were co-pays and other out of pocket expenses. We were reasonably healthy (and still are, knock wood), but we each take a few common prescription medications - for blood pressure and cholesterol and the like, nothing exotic or costly. Even so, with regular visits to the doctor, periodic lab work, the drugs, and the occasional illness or injury, we normally spent an additional several thousand dollars annually in the States over and above the cost of the i…