Sunday, 13 March 2011

The King’s Speech

It’ll be hard to say anything new or original about The King’s Speech but I’ll have a bash…

What struck me was how cinematic it was. A major problem with the UK film industry is that a lot of our films look like telly. This has a lot to do with the fact that many of those involved have a television background. Director Tom Hooper is just one of those people, a TV veteran of work diverse as Byker Grove (stop laughing at the back, please) to Prime Suspect. Hooper rubbishes this theory - the man (along with cinematographer, Danny Cohen) really gave this film a look, and he directed the hell out of it. Some of the awkward, ceremonial, elephant-in-the-room moments even feel a bit Kubrick. It smartly captures the weirdness of being a royal.

Correct me if I’m wrong (feel free to email or leave comments below), but I can’t think of any montages in period drama and it was great to see one – this kind of direction shook things up a bit. You don’t see that in Merchant Ivory. This is reflective of the film, and its wonderful irreverence, in general. Rocky watch your back…

You can see why the Academy liked it, with it involving the following: a debilitating speech impediment, the whole triumph-over-adversity thing, and English posh-ness. Let this not take anything away from the film, though. It totally delivered the goods. Big words regarding the baggage it brings - namely its heaving trophy cabinet. Hearty congratulations to all four winners at the Oscars. Tom Hooper: you made what could have been dull scintillating. Septuagenarian David Seidler (oldest ever winner of a Best Original Screenplay Oscar): fine work for provoking laughter and tears in equal measure. The Film Itself: as much as I loved The Fighter, it was a worthy win. And Colin Firth: you broke my heart.


  1. You had me at "it'll be hard'.

  2. I thought that the weight of expectation would ruin this film for me however in the end it met all of the praise heaped on it and more.

    Cinematic, brilliantly acted (even without Colin going 1/4 retard!). Historically accurate or not the relationships felt real. One gripe would be that there was enough narrative content to fill two or three films.

    I hope that the 'trendies' don't start to bracket this film in the Driving Miss Daisy Oscar camp because it deserves so much more than this.

    However like most films of the age it lacked a wisecracking black eight year old sidekick.