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.

Mini-Review: Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Starring Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover, Matt Lucas

Directed by Tim Burton

Expectations: Extremely low.


I normally would have avoided this but for some unexplained reason I decided to give it a go. I’m a fan of the original Alice story and I was curious to see how Tim Burton would film it, but the ridiculous amount of CG told me to steer clear. Burton’s later work for me has been fairly hit or miss, so I didn’t go into this with any expectations that I would enjoy this at any meaningful level. Like many things that your intuition tells you to avoid, Burton’s Alice in Wonderland is definitely one to go into treading lightly.

I was intrigued quite a bit by the opening 40 minutes or so. It was paced well and it was interesting to see how the older Alice reacted to the various things in Wonderland. The CG work is actually pretty good and lends the film an animated quality. That’s not to say that it isn’t excessive though. Virtually everything in the film is CG, including the horses that characters ride upon. Surprisingly the computer imagery is not my main beef with the film though. It’s Burton’s complete lack of emotion or energy with this film. If there’s ever been a guy that needs to take a few years off and reconnect with his passion, it’s Burton and this should be Exhibit A. It’s lifeless and the plethora of CG doesn’t help. No thanks.

Oh, and it has what is probably Danny Elfman’s most tired, boring, passionless score as well. Maybe they were going for passionless as a motif?

Subscribe via Email!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 81 other subscribers

Ongoing Series

Top Posts & Pages