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 f

RESTAURANT TEN, UZES: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Ten sits just off the market square in Uzes, one of the prettiest villages in southern France. The newly renovated space is airy and comfortable with tables of sufficient size and sufficiently spaced to provide for a pleasant dining experience. Service was cheerful, fully bilingual, and attentive without being overbearing. The food presented well to both eye and tongue. And the rate of approximately 30 € per person for a party of five included starters, mains, a dessert or two, two bottles of local wine, and coffees at the finish. Reasonable if not cheap eats.  So why am I hesitant to give an unqualified thumbs up?  It took me a while to figure it out. Uzes is a quintessentially French village in a quintessentially French region of southern France. There are those who will say that the Languedoc is just as beautiful but less crowded and less expensive than its eastern neighbors. I know. I'm one of those people. But the fact remains that for many people, villages like Uzes are t

THREE YEARS IN FRANCE - AN AMERICAN EXPAT'S REFLECTIONS

Have you wondered what it might be like to pick up and move to another country? Americans are lured to retirement havens in Mexico, Costa Rica, or Panama. They say that Eastern Europe is beautiful, safer than the evening news might suggest, and relatively inexpensive. Southeast Asia is hot, but it's cheap. Remember, though. I'm not talking about investigating a vacation home, time share, or other form of shared ownership. I'm talking about a permanent, sell out and ship the furniture sort of  move. For most Americans, the thought has never crossed their minds. Think about it. Think about moving from one state to another, from one town to another, even from one neighborhood across town. Add the need to learn a new language - if you aren't multilingual already. Add the need to deal in a new currency and the need to learn the ins and outs of currency exchange. Add metric measurements. And a new healthcare system. And a new bureaucracy to navigate. Daunting? You betcha!