Thursday, May 19, 2011

KIng's Speech

Finally saw The King's Speech. A time-honored plot--protagonist has problem within self, works to overcome it, has setback, ultimately triumphs. We all love stories like this because they give us hope for ourselves--hear that, Lindsay?

Of course, the kicker here is that the protagonist, who ends up as King George VI,can't give a decent speech because of a pronounced stammer. And his fairy godmother is a brash Australian who challenges him, psychoanalyzes him, and ultimately cures him of everything but his quacking accent, which all the royals seemed to have.

Colin Firth as "Bertie" was fantastic. He had the royal arrogance and the stammer down pat. Helena Bonham-Carter's portrayal of his wife put another jewel in her acting crown. Geoffrey Rush's speech therapist hit the spot without going overboard. Fio especially liked Derek Jacobi as the small-minded archbishop and Guy Pierce as the dissolute Edward VIII, who abdicated to marry the woman he loved, then attempted to undermine the empire. Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill had the speaking part down, but the appearance seemed to be a caricature. And if you want to get persnickety, Wallis Simpson's flat mid-western accent was off-key--she was from Baltimore.

All in all, an interesting dramatization of a very human situation and a public relations bonanza for England's royal family. See--the royals are just like you and me, duckie, only they have unlimited money and power.

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