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Friday, February 11, 2011

The King's Speech

Colin Firth - The King's SpeechImage by WorthingTheatres via Flickr
It's tough to judge historical dramas on their factual representation – frankly, none of us were there. So we only really have the film as an artefact upon which to try to dissect the film's craft, the emotional authenticity of the performances, and, perhaps, the interpretation of the story.

The King's Speech is widely considered among the favourites for a number of this year's Oscars, and in the case of Best Actor there's a case to be made. Colin Firth is excellent as "Bertie", conveying a thoroughly uncomfortable and probably embarrassed second son of a king - a contradiction in social emotions.

It is also fair to say Rush (as therapist Lionel Logue) and Firth play across each other superbly. Their relationship is a key motivator of the story, and it is equally powerful when injected both with humour and conflict. Both their fights and their humourous back-and-forths are compelling viewing, and often mask each other convincingly.

On another note, Nettie Chapman's glorious art direction may as well be a character in the movie, so central to the feel of the film it is. England between the wars always seems quite a difficult period to capture on film, but the sets and settings are so captivating that cinematographer Danny Cohen (another nominee) enjoys framing several shots with walls and furniture as focal points.

But whether or not all the above qualifies The King's Speech as the Best Film of the Oscar year is debatable. The film hits all the rights marks when it comes to what traditionally does well at Oscar time (historical, foreign cast, and erm... historical!) , but something about it – much like royalty – remains cold and distant.

Read full article on Channel24
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