I’m generally hesitant to dive into the yearly British-period-drama-that-doubles-as-Oscar-bait movie, but in the case of The King’s Speech, which stars Colin Firth and Goeffrey Rush, it’s possible this is the best movie, aside from Inception, I’ve seen all year.
Everything about the film is note perfect — the writing, the performances, the undeniable suspense and tension of the film, how unsuspectingly funny it is! — leading to a cathartic and well-earned ending. When you watch King George VI’s (whom I knew nothing about previously) speech he delivered to England at the outset of World War II (and really, it’s not so spoilery because a) it’s history and b) they wouldn’t’ve made this movie if he hadn’t nailed that speech like a boss), it’s unfathomable that he could barely speak to anybody.
Suffice it to say, this is definitely worth the $10 at the theater, if for nothing else than to see Colin Firth’s Oscar-caliber performance. If he doesn’t win, it will be a crime on par with the year Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance from Gangs of New York lost to Adrian Brody for The Pianist. It blew my mind how good Firth was and that’s saying something. I’ve always found Firth to be an amiable performer, generally likable, but nothing special. Here, he absolutely transforms himself and raises his game to 11.
The entire movie plays out, oddly enough, like a sports film; the king earns the ending because he works incredibly hard to overcome his deficiencies. Very moving stuff.