The King's Speech
Going into The King's Speech I knew it was going to be good, and it was, and I knew it was going to look good, and it did. I knew the performances were going to be good and they were. Colin Firth was particularly good as the Duke of York but can anyone remember a time when Colin Firth wasn't particularly good? Helena Bonham Carter's performance as his wife was more commanding for me since I usually don't like her. She's no candidate for an I Hate You or anything but I just don't enjoy her work all that much. Probably because I hate Fight Club and new Tim Burton movies. She was restrained and powerful in the King's Speech. Geoffrey Rush was fine as well in the role of unconventional speech therapist but I almost always find his performances bordering on hammy. Often he just crosses the line into honey baked territory.
Tom Hooper is a young director who has a lot of promise. He has the distinction of making a soccer movie that I was able to watch and generally enjoy, The Damned United. I say generally because the movie was about soccer which is insipid. In the King's Speech he does some really good things. There are some great images of London in the thirties and a speech that the future king tries to give at Wembley Stadium is particularly tense and nerve wracking.
The movie overall lacks some intensity. It is funny on occasion and dramatic when it should be but it lacks small scale suspension that makes good movies great movies. The whole time I was watching it I knew he was going to be able to deliver the speech at the end of the movie. There's no way they would've made a movie like this to watch him fail in the end. So there was no suspense there. I suppose the conflict between Colin Firth's Duke of York and Geoffrey Rush's speech therapist was supposed to be bigger than it seemed to me but their conflict was tied into that last speech that we all knew he was going to deliver and I never felt their relationship was in danger. There was also never any possibility that he wasn't going to be the king since the name of the movie is The King's Speech and any hemming and hawing he did about not wanting to be the king seemed really futile. But even with those flaws, this is still a quality movie that will probably garner a few academy award nominations. But no Movie Goer awards.