Mini-Review: The King’s Speech (2010)

The King’s Speech (2010)

Starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon, Timothy Spall, Jennifer Ehle, Derek Jacobi, Anthony Andrews, Eve Best, Freya Wilson, Ramona Marquez, Claire Bloom, Tim Downie

Directed by Tom Hooper

Expectations: Low. I have no interest.

When a film that you have no interest in seeing wins Best Picture, what’s a film blogger to do? I probably should have just moved along, but my obsessive nature wouldn’t stop nagging me to see it, so I decided to check it out. I’ve seen most of the other big movies of last year, I might as well see the “best” one. The King’s Speech is a perfect example of why one should never blindly accept what the Academy deems the Best Picture, because while it is pretty good, it’s just so not for me.

The King’s Speech tells the tale of how the Duke of York tries to overcome his speech problem amidst the Royal drama surrounding the death of his father and the rise of World War II. Most of the film is comprised of Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush shooting lots of dialogue back and forth (what did you expect from a film titled The King’s Speech, explosions?), with Firth doing his best to stay within his shell and Rush doing his best to coax out Firth’s inner demons. The acting is excellent from everyone involved and Tom Hooper shoots the film interestingly for such a boring story, so that adds an extra layer of enjoyment for someone like myself. The set design and art direction is second to none as well, with rich colorful sets that pop off the screen beautifully. I wouldn’t necessarily call it realistic, but that’s beside the point because it looks great. The music, on the other hand, is some of the most boring and generic orchestral film music I’ve heard in a while… and, of course, it received an Oscar nomination. Great by association, I guess, but I thought it was rubbish.

Lots of people have mentioned that this film is quite funny, or even a laugh-out-loud film. It didn’t hit in that way for me at all, instead I found it caught between being too serious to truly be funny and too light-hearted to be truly serious. This isn’t a bad thing, but it is important to realize before people’s recommendations get you going in expecting a laugh riot. Overall, The King’s Speech is a good film, but not one that I would ever really go nuts over. It’s skillfully crafted and very well put together, but it’s fairly boring, predictable and the dramatic climax lacked the punch it should have had.

7 comments to Mini-Review: The King’s Speech (2010)

  • Dan

    Nice review, Will. I thought the film was excellent thanks in large part to the performances of Rush and Firth. Firth’s best in my opinion.

  • Mike_d

    Please tell me this is about more than overcoming a speech impediment. Because as much as I can appreciate the drama of someone challenged by any sort of disability, I can easily overlook it for an obscenely over-privileged gentleman during World War Fucking II!

    And the backlash of the recent royal wedding put the nail in the coffin as to the importance of the royal family beyond that as private citizens – they’re not!

    • Sorry Mike, it’s really not about much else other than the speech impediment. I share your distaste for royalty, which is a big reason why I generally avoid shit like this. If I were you I wouldn’t bother with it.

  • Laura

    In response to the review: The acting and the way the movie was shot is why it won best picture. Then again,people are amazed by the concept of royalty, and the concept of a struggling royal for some reason. I really had the feeling (and this is intentional on the filmmakers part, I’M SURE) that they are just people like everyone else. I watched this only because Geoffry Rush is in it.

  • I liked the film, but the huge awards campaign killed it a little for me.

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