A solid reason for Great Britain to keep its monarchy is that the royal family frequently provides people and the media with a good source of conversation and headlines. Apart from current gossip and talk about the royal members' health, wealth, marriage and divorce, some mossy tales of past kings and queens are favored on the big screen and at times even dress up in award-wining bling-bling.
With 12 Academy Award nominations, the English movie, "The King's Speech" is expected to receive much honor at the Kodak Theater in late February. Starring Colin Firth, the British historical drama is about the stammer of King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. He's a man born to public life but can barely speak in public. The movie opens with the scene of the stutterer, the Duke of York, addressing the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley Stadium, and strangling on every word that is broadcast via radio to a quarter of the world's population ruled by the British Empire.
He makes efforts to live up to his royal obligations and tries out an array of methods to remove the stuttering problem. His fear, hopelessness and anger are crafted by Colin Firth with so little visible effort that you soon forget those impressive roles he previously played and feel his self-irony and self-loathing in an intimate way. Even if the king cannot get over the speech impediment, Firth should prepare a decent speech for the Oscar ceremony.
Meanwhile, the performance of the movie's supporting roles is firm and delicate. Geoffrey Rush plays the duke's long-time speech therapist, Lionel Logue, who insists on having things his own way to develop trust and friendship with his special patient. The Australian unorthodox therapist brings confidence and self-esteem to the king and helps him make his war-time radio speeches, which are widely-acclaimed to buoy public morale under the Nazi threat.
As King George VI fights against a serious stammer, the movie is dotted with a spicy history lesson about Edward VIII marrying the twice-divorced Wallis Simpson after abdication, Adolf Hitler befogging the minds of people and waging the Second World War, and Winston Churchill showing up for a few seconds to reveal his determination against Nazism. Nevertheless, the movie is far from even a quasidocumentary. The dramatic plots should go under careful examination and even the severity of the king's stammer is a matter of debate. I couldn't help but ask: is that such an important thing that a king can make an encouraging speech in order to win a war? But the movie's director, Tom Hooper, puts in intelligence, variety and pace not to excess to the movie and turns the banal history fragments to a showpiece project in the field of cinema when you judge it by whatever standards from camera work to screenplay, and original sound track to costumes.
It seems it's a bit redundant to wish the movie good luck on Oscar night.
On my 1 to 10 movie scale, I give "The King's Speech" an EIGHT.