Reviewed by Mister Critic

Rarely, if ever, do I feel bad for a king. There are those movies that attempt to tug at my heart strings with the, “Oh, look at the poor royals, with their big castles, and all their money. They must be so lonely and miserable.” Rubbish. You want to talk about miserable? Try going out and shopping at a major retail store (pick one, any one), especially during the holiday season. The crush of the mob trying to horde the last Snuggie, the screams of a child which pierce your soul, the pain of that cart slammed into your backside. Now, that is misery.

But leave it to Colin Firth to make me care. In The King’s Speech he portrays a sympathetic monarch with a speech impediment. I’ve already sung the praises of Firth in a prior post, so it is no surprise to me that he is a wonderful actor, but in this movie he goes that extra mile, especially in pulling off a very believable stutter.

Based on actual events, Prince Albert, who goes on to become King George VI, works with a speech therapist, played by Geoffry Rush, in order to overcome his hesitation when speaking. The movie is set during a time that leaders are adjusting to the new form of mass media, the radio, and they must compete with charismatic leaders like Hitler. The film shows how important our words and delivery of those words can be. It is something we take for granted in today’s world given the barrage of performances we see every day on television.  The process to overcome his affliction requires exploration of the past, and confronting demons and doubts. It is a process that bonds two people that would never had met under any other circumstances, and gives us a glimpse into the heart of both these men.

This movie deserves every nomination it received this year. Firth is nominated for Best Actor. As I said before he should have won last year for A Single Man, and there is no doubt in my mind he will win this year. Rush is also excellent in his role. He steals the scene every time and it is no wonder he is nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Helena Bonham Carter is also fabulous as the supporting wife of the king, earning her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Although she has very few scenes or lines, she conveys so much with just a look.  Actually, there is not one poor performance from anyone in this movie. As a best picture nominee, every actor gave their finest performance, and maybe just this one time it is okay feel for a king.

UPDATE 2/24/11

I was just sent this new infograhic made by the folks at regarding The King’s Speech. It sets forth his famous address, pauses and all.  Also, stop  by their site and check out their vintage movie posters. Very cool.

<a href=””><img src=”” alt=”The Art of the Pause – The King’s Speech” width=”500″  border=”0″ /></a><br />Via: <a href=””>Original Movie Posters Blog</a>