your movie guide

Twój progres

0%

Oceniłeś 0/15 filmów. Oceń 15 więcej & sprawdź co obejrzeć dziś wieczorem!

Oscar Flashback: The King's Speech (2010)

Artykuł zawiera spoilery!

A film I viewed at the cinemas before the Oscars (thank you very much) is The King's Speech, which won the Best Picture Oscar and for which Tom Hooper won the Best Director Oscar; Colin Firth won the Best Actor Oscar; Geoffrey Rush was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar; Helena Bonham Carter was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar; David Seidler won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar; Alexandre Desplat was nominated for the Best Original Score Oscar; Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen, and John Midgley were nominated for the Best Sound Mixing Oscar; Eve Stewart and Judy Farr were nominated for the Best Art Direction Oscar; Danny Cohen was nominated for the Best Cinematography Oscar; Jenny Beavan was nominated for the Best Costume Design Oscar; and Tariq Anwar was nominated for the Best Film Editing Oscar (film year, 2010; awarding year, 2011). The other nominees in these categories were:

Best Picture

127 Hours
Black Swan *
The Fighter
Inception *
The Kids Are All Right
The Social Network
Toy Story 3 *
True Grit
Winter's Bone

Best Director

Black Swan - Darren Aronofsky *
True Grit - Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
The Social Network - David Fincher
The Fighter - David O'Russell

Best Actor

Biutiful - Javier Bardem
True Grit - Jeff Bridges
The Social Network - Jesse Eisenberg
127 Hours - James Franco

Best Supporting Actor

The Fighter - Christian Bale (Winner)

Winter's Bone - John Hawkes
The Town - Jeremy Renner
The Kids Are All Right - Mark Ruffalo

Best Supporting Actress

The Fighter - Melissa Leo (Winner)

The Fighter - Amy Adams
True Grit - Hailee Steinfeld
Animal Kingdom - Jacki Weaver

Best Original Screenplay

Another Year
The Fighter
Inception *
The Kids Are All Right

Best Original Score

The Social Network (Winner)

127 Hours
How to Train Your Dragon
Inception *

Best Sound Mixing

Inception (Winner) *

Salt
The Social Network
True Grit

Best Art Direction

Alice in Wonderland (Winner) *

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I *
Inception *
True Grit

Best Cinematography

Inception (Winner) *

Black Swan *
The Social Network
True Grit

Best Costume Design

Alice in Wonderland (Winner) *

I Am Love
The Tempest
True Grit

Best Film Editing

The Social Network (Winner) *

127 Hours
Black Swan *
The Fighter

Of all of the potential Oscar contenders flooding the cinemas during the holiday/end of year glut (catching up, still...though almost caught up for now), The King's Speech did not hold a candle to Black Swan in terms of catching my interest. Yet, it was still interesting to me for several reasons: I like British history for no reason I can articulate; Colin Firth is in my imaginary husband club; I also like Geoffrey Rush, who is a delight in just about every film I have ever seen him in; and this is the type of movie you could go see with your mom, which I did. Black Swan is not the type of movie one can go see with their mom (at least a typical mom). So, in the spirit of holiday festivities, Mom and I visited the local cinema to view The King's Speech, even if the film was obvious Oscar bait...although, Oscar bait, as a moniker, does not automatically mean that the film is bad. Quite the contrary, the King's Speech was refreshingly warm-spirited and well-executed, which is probably why it won Best Picture at the Big Awards.

In The King's Speech, Firth portrays King George VI, the father of the current queen, who is known to his friends and family as "Bertie" and who spends his entire life in the exercise of overcoming a pronounced stammer. The film opens with then-Prince Albert giving a speech at Wembley Stadium, his wife Elizabeth (you know her as the Queen Mum and played by Carter) at his side. The speech is awkwardly rendered through the prince's difficult impediment and in spite of the disturbed and uncomfortable silence of his audience. Though the prince has sought treatments from a number of speech therapists in the past, he has encountered little improvement and is about to throw in the royal towel when his wife convinces him to meet with Lionel Logue (Rush), an unorthodox Australian speech therapist living in London. Logue agrees with trepidation to meet with the prince but with several conditions, not the least of which include that both gentlemen address each other by their first names. Though their relationship is rocky and reluctant to start, Bertie and Lionel form a fast friendship, which also endures through the death of King George V (Michael Gambon), Bertie's father, and the abdication of King Edward VIII (Guy Pearce), Bertie's older brother. Through these trials and tribulations, Lionel steadfastly assists Bertie with his speech lessons, until the onset of World War II in Europe and the ensuing requirement that the king give the critical speech in question.

As previously stated, The King's Speech may have been no-holds-barred, unmitigated Oscar bait, but the fact remains, the film was tasty Oscar bait that hooks the viewer with line and sinker in tow. In fact, it plays almost as successfully as other well done historical dramas, such as Apollo 13. The viewer already knows the ending, and yet director Hooper and screenwriter Seidler manage to pepper the proceeding with an element of suspense and infuse a story about a monarch's inability to speak without stammering with relevancy and urgency to a point where the viewer manages to forget, even for an instant, the possibility that an actual speech was made, stammer-free, by the king at the start of England's involvement in the second world war.

This carefully and effectively executed vision resulted in the bevy of Oscar nominations and wins for the film. There is no denying that Firth's performance contains an element of brilliance, as he portrayed the King of the title with quiet determination, subtlety, nuance, and sincerity. It cannot have been easy for Firth to take on a persona and character so close to a living, breathing Queen (his queen in fact), much less a man who struggled with his speech, and yet he did so with aplomb. Until his Oscar win, Firth may have been one of the most underrated actors of cinema today, but this role and his subsequent award are welcome validation indeed. I wonder how this performance compares with his prior nominated performance in A Single Man.

Similarly, Geoffrey Rush is phenomenal as Lionel. His chemistry with Firth, no matter how dramatized or fictionalized this relationship might ultimately have been rendered for the sake of the film, is the reason to watch this movie. This unlikely odd couple is what makes the viewer care. Similar relationships have been given the big screen treatment before, but seldom has such a friendship been executed so effortlessly and genuinely as it has been by Firth and Rush. Rush carried himself with such poise and offered so much depth to his speech therapist, his performance could only be characterized as charming.

Carter was also decent as the spitfire Duchess of York, and Pearce lent an edge to the pretty/playboy aspects of the King Edward VIII described in history books. The entire ensemble was terribly convincing and created the necessary suspension of disbelief that allowed the viewer to travel back in time and into the private quarters of the Royal Family.

Additionally, Hooper did a fine job. Perhaps, his style is not as fresh as David Fincher or as thematically bold as Darren Aronofsky, but he injected his own creative signature into the mix, aided by the superb skills of his technical designers. The art direction and costume design were exquisite, reflecting the extravagance and tenure of the few years depicted in the film and the level of society to which the viewer bears witness; the cinematography and editing were wonderfully creative, noticeably in Lionel's study, where camera zooms conveyed the passage of time, different lenses offered images equatable to constriction and tightness, and blocking created interesting emotional juxtapositions between the two characters in focus. The score was also lovely and might otherwise have won the top award, if not for Trent Reznor's cutting edge and original offering for The Social Network.

The King's Speech is not an exemplar of cinematic perfection - it's not a masterpiece. At times, the film feels a bit manipulative in obvious gambits by the filmmakers to reach for the heartstrings of the potential audience and to give a tug. This type of manipulative feel is common to historical dramas where facts are changed, exaggerated, or minimized for maximum dramatic effect, sometimes to the detriment of historical accuracy. Also, in an ironic reflection of its subject matter, the film's tone occasionally conveys a prim sort of stuffiness, accentuating the repressed and proper life of the royals at the forefront of the film but also carrying the tone of a dry documentary or the dustiness of old library stacks. Neither one of these sentiments last for any length of time; the film may betray this manipulative or stuffy tendency only in moments, but the moments are noticeable and tend to disturb the otherwise even and engaging pace of the film.

Still, what is offered is a good story that is well acted, well directed, and inspiring in its pedantically obvious way, and while some might be turned off by what can be regarded as mainstream sappiness, there is nothing wrong with a feel-good movie every now and again. Not all Best Pictures have to be wildly dramatic, edgy, and/or dark; if nothing else, Oscar has propped up a variety of motion pictures for the award of Best Picture, even if their choices were less inspiring than the films that were actually chosen. In any event, The King's Speech strikes me as an 8.5 on the patented ratings scale, between having minor flaws but being very good and being perfectly entertaining. I also think this film passes the test (what a streak lately) because I kind of loved the film and especially Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush in the film, even if I knew what the film was going for from the beginning. Arguably, full disclosure lends a sense of genuineness to the proceedings, and The King's Speech is nothing if not genuine in its aims and ability to inspire its audience.

Zaloguj się aby skomentować lub połącz przez Dołącz przez Facebook