Thursday, 13 January 2011
The King's Speech
We saw the leading Oscar-contender, The King's Speech, last night. The packed cinema for a midweek teatime showing certainly suggests it is already a hit. And there is superb acting throughout, from Colin Firth's credible stutterer George VI and Geoffrey Rush as the speech therapist Lionel Logue to the impish Ramona Marquez from Outnumbered as a young Princess Margaret. With Timothy Spall as Churchill, Derek Jacobi as the Archbishop, Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth, Michael Gambon as George V and Claire Bloom as Queen Mary, this is truly a feast of British acting talent. The story is simple enough: the Duke of York (prodded by his wife) turns to cheeky Aussie Logue to cure his stammer, and relies upon him for crucial speeches. Tom Hooper directs it all with great aplomb. But it is not quite the perfect film the reviews suggest either. It is a bit drawn out over two hours, the history is a bit fishy (too many references forward) and it feels at times as if it might have been better as a stage play. Even so, it is still one of the best movies likely to emerge in 2011 and definitely not to be missed.