Sunday, June 26, 2011

2010: The King's Speech

Bertie stammers when he speaks.  Unfortunately, he is also the son of King George V of England, which means that not only is he required to speak publicly, he must do so on live radio.  He tries everything to get rid of the stammer, but nothing works until his wife finds Lionel Logue, an unconventional Australian speech therapist.  Although Bertie and Lionel get off to a rough start, they eventually develop a strong friendship.  Slowly but surely, Bertie's speech begins to improve, which becomes even more crucial as his older brother seems determined to abdicate the throne, leaving Bertie to become King George VI.

This was the first Best Picture Winner to be announced after I started this blog, and I was thrilled that it won because I had already seen it and loved it.  I think it's a spectacular story told extraordinarily well with a fabulous cast - what more could one ask of a film?  The characters are so real, so relatable, so human that they always make me cry, not because the film is particularly depressing, but because it's just so moving.  To turn a story about pre-World War II British royalty into something relevant to a modern everyday American like me is no easy task, but the makers of The King's Speech manage it effortlessly.  Every aspect of filmmaking works together to achieve this, especially the cast.  Colin Firth is so utterly convincing as Bertie that I almost forgot that he doesn't actually stammer in real life.  He so thoroughly deserved his Best Actor Oscar that it would have been a crime if he hadn't received it.  And his entire supporting cast - especially Helena Bonham Carter as his wife and Geoffrey Rush as Lionel - all develop their own complex characters while strengthening Firth's portrayal of the main character.  Almost every actor in this film is well-known for several other roles, but that doesn't detract from the strength of this story, nor are their famous names the film's only draw.  Because at its core, The King's Speech isn't just about a speech or a speech defect; it's about friendship and overcoming obstacles, which are two things that everyone can relate to.

So, when it comes to The King's Speech, I love the story, I love the characters, I love the cast, the soundtrack, the lighting, the script, the camera movement and angles, and pretty much everything else.  The one flaw I've found is that although the film takes place over several years, none of the characters really seem to age, which is especially noticeable in the king's young daughters.  But that's quite trivial in the grand scheme of the film, which on the whole is absolutely spectacular.

And on that note, I have completed my watching and blogging of all the winners of the Academy Award for Best Picture!  Well, so far, at least.  I may be back with some analyses of my favorites and least favorites, and I'll possibly continue this with future winners; I haven't really decided yet.  I also have some ideas for other movie blogging projects, which may or may not come to fruition on this account, so stay tuned if you want.  I know this hasn't been the most successful blogging venture ever, since very few of the people I told to check out my blog actually did, but while I greatly appreciate those of you who have been keeping up with it, I mostly did it for fun rather than to obtain followers.  For those of you who are just discovering this after the fact, feel free to look back and leave comments; I'll probably respond.  As of right now I have exactly 1,000 page views, which is not very significant considering how many of those were mine, but I think it's really cool to end on a round number like that.  Overall the project's been really fun and I'm glad I did it.  So thanks for reading, and I'll quite possibly be writing again before too long.

Next Best Picture Winner: only time (and the Academy) will tell

1 comment:

  1. By the way, if anyone's interested, I made this quiz about Best Picture Winners: