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The King's Speech - quick review


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#1 of 21 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted December 30 2010 - 02:35 AM

This film pulls a lot on the heartstrings on many of us who have felt powerless to be heard in our formative years, which turns out to be just as true for George, who would one day become King of England on the verge of WWII.


Colin Firth delivers a solid performance as George, the stammering English Duke of York in the 1930s, afflicted with a speech impediment, always in the shadow of his older brother Edward (Guy Pearce), heir to the throne .  Firth was very believable as George with his agitated, halted speech pattern (how does one write a screenplay for a character who stammers for most of the film without going a little cuckoo or perhaps inventing a stammering font for the actor reading for the role?).  While not the warmest of humans, who would be after being catered to while being raised in the royal family, his heart appears to be in the right place. 

George's wife (Helen Bonham Carter), recognizing the need for George to be a better public speaker, sets up a meeting with Lionel (Geoffrey Rush), an Australian speech therapist, and while it's not the best of first sessions, they would find themselves intertwined when events of the abdicaton of the throne by Edward, and the burgeoning of WWII pushes George into the largest of spotlights in England. 

Geoffrey Rush is very charming as Lionel, and will easily muster a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination, with Christian Bale being his main competitor, I suspect, in that race.  Firth is also a shoo-in for a Best Actor nomination. The crux of the film resides squarely on the give-and-take between George and Lionel, and Firth and Rush play off one another quite well, with engaging performances which are entertaining to watch.


In an age where we are becoming frequent texters, and losing, gradually, the proficiency of the simple act of carrying on a conversation in person with others, this film reminds of the importance of speech that can rally a country, and our own voices demand to be heard in spite of impediments along the way.


The only thing that bugged me about the film was the framing of the "talking head" shots, the director felt it was more important to continually use the 1/3 framing motif, so that the heads were located to the side of the frame on many of the shots.  Done a few times is fine, but for most of the running time, it got old, fast.  Other than that, it's a briskly paced film with enough humor to keep things from falling into a morose tone.


I give it 3.5 stars, or a grade of B+.




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#2 of 21 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted December 31 2010 - 11:20 AM

Hell, I was too engrossed in the story and film to notice the head shots.  An excellent film with some great performances.  The first time in a long time that Helena Bonham Carter looked normal.







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#3 of 21 OFFLINE   Chad R

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Posted December 31 2010 - 02:44 PM


The strength of this film is all in the script and the performances, which are excellent across the board. But the director does make some odd choices as Patrick mentioned, placing his characters in the thirds, sometimes horizontally and vertically -- which means the frame is primarily empty except for the actors occupying the bottom corner of it. It's a strangely disorienting choice, one that disconnects the audience from the characters at times when the audience should be connecting.


But he does do an excellnt job of putting his actors through their paces, exhibiting charm and personality. The art direction is also top notch, expecially Logue's office which makes you want to look around to better understand the character.


It's an extremely entertaining historical drama with plenty of humor. I'd give it four and a half out of five stars.



#4 of 21 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted December 31 2010 - 03:17 PM

+1 (and just pretend this is under the quote)

Originally Posted by Robert Crawford 

Hell, I was too engrossed in the story and film to notice the head shots.  An excellent film with some great performances.  The first time in a long time that Helena Bonham Carter looked normal.







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#5 of 21 OFFLINE   RobertR

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Posted January 09 2011 - 03:48 AM

This film would have particular relevance for me....



#6 of 21 OFFLINE   lycoswilson

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Posted January 13 2011 - 09:09 PM


The King.s Speech was a hilarious movie.. The screenpaly of the KIng's  Speech was very decent..It was very touching and inspiring story..




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#7 of 21 OFFLINE   boros1124

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Posted January 18 2011 - 08:17 PM

Hi!

Anyone read the book? I want to be, only interested in your opinion before. I like to read more.

Thanks for the answers!



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#8 of 21 OFFLINE   Joseph Young

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Posted January 26 2011 - 05:27 AM

I ran across this story today and thought it was a joke at first:


http://www.latimes.c...0,7961165.story


The gist of the story is that Harvey Weinstein wants to edit some of the profanity from the film to appeal to a wider audience.  I'm not saying 'he has no right,' and I'm sure a lot of people feel this decision makes a lot of sense, but count me out.  I think it's ridiculous.



#9 of 21 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted January 26 2011 - 06:51 AM

To be honest, there are some movies that I wouldn't mind seeing de-swearified for the sake of my young child, who might otherwise enjoy them (he's seen movies with bad words in them, but unlike some of his peers, he knows better than to use them himself).  Of course, I highly doubt that this particular film would be of interest to anyone young enough to be worth shielding from a few curse words. :)


There's also the fact that some of the 'R' ratings handed out for language are beyond ridiculous, but that's another issue.  Any of you guys seen Once?


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#10 of 21 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted January 26 2011 - 06:58 AM

Even if they edited out the few times that the characters say "fuck" in The King's Speech, it still should be rated R simply because the movie is made for adults. It's a free world but I think that anyone who doesn't see a quality movie or TV show because of 'bad' words is only cheating themselves.



#11 of 21 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted January 26 2011 - 07:06 AM

Here, in British Columbia, the film is rated PG.


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#12 of 21 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted January 26 2011 - 09:25 AM

I didn't know this film was rated "R".  It's one of the mildest "R" films I ever viewed.






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#13 of 21 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted January 26 2011 - 09:28 AM




Originally Posted by TravisR 

Even if they edited out the few times that the characters say "fuck" in The King's Speech, it still should be rated R simply because the movie is made for adults. It's a free world but I think that anyone who doesn't see a quality movie or TV show because of 'bad' words is only cheating themselves.


I don't remember much adult material for it to be rated R if you took "fuck" out of the film.


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#14 of 21 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted January 26 2011 - 09:48 AM

I don't get this idea where a film is suddenly "adult" based on its rating. Toy Story 3 was rated General and I consider it a more "adult" story than, say, The Expendables which, because of its violence, was rated 14A.


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#15 of 21 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted January 26 2011 - 09:59 AM

I'm sure teenagers are DYING to see this movie.


Of course, I'm sure some high school teachers might want to take a class to see the film since it's showing part of history but I guess on the age would depend on whether or not they could get in.

I'll admit that sequence seemed a tad bit out of place but it seems like the studio would have worried about that issue before now.


I also thought you could only use the "F" word once and keep a PG-13 rating but I went and saw FAIR GAME the other day and fuck was said twice.





#16 of 21 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted January 26 2011 - 10:38 AM

Originally Posted by Robert Crawford 

     Quote:

Originally Posted by TravisR 

Even if they edited out the few times that the characters say "fuck" in The King's Speech, it still should be rated R simply because the movie is made for adults. It's a free world but I think that anyone who doesn't see a quality movie or TV show because of 'bad' words is only cheating themselves.


I don't remember much adult material for it to be rated R if you took "fuck" out of the film.



I mean that the movie is made for adults or mature teenagers (and not that it has some type of graphic content) and kids would have no interest in it so why not have it rated as something that only people 17 years or older or those accompanied by a parent or guardian can get into? I guess the answer is that you can't have two rating systems where you rate for content and also rate for maturity.



#17 of 21 OFFLINE   Ken Chan

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Posted January 27 2011 - 12:45 PM


Originally Posted by Michael Elliott 

I also thought you could only use the "F" word once and keep a PG-13 rating but I went and saw FAIR GAME the other day and fuck was said twice.


The MPAA (notoriously) does not publish specific guidelines, but generally, just one instance in a sexual context results in an R; "a few" just plain non-sexual expletives are OK for PG-13. (Some original research with too many examples on Wikipedia.)


One rationale for not being specific is that context matters. OK, but to me, the context in this case is quite innocuous and almost juvenile. He says it dozens of times in quick succession, something children might actually do when they first learn it's a bad word. He does it a few times. It's not like some bad Tarantino knock-off where every other character is saying it every other word throughout the entire film.



#18 of 21 OFFLINE   Kirk Tsai

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Posted February 24 2011 - 11:49 AM

I noticed the stylistic choice of shooting closeups that Patrick and Chad mentioned too.  I agree that it was disorienting, or maybe that's too strong a word, more noticeable let's say, at the beginning of the movie. At some point in the movie, I started to not notice it as much.  I don't know whether that's because I got used to the style or because Hooper used less of those framing choices.  I suspect it's a little of both; my intuitive feeling is that those shots were used less and less as the film goes on.

If so, the off-center feel of those conversation scenes could be to represent a kind of isolation of the character.  And as the king gathers more confidence, this framing of him becomes more centered.  I don't recall such a noticeable framing style, for example, during the film's climactic speech.  This deserves attention on a second viewing.



#19 of 21 OFFLINE   Tim Glover

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Posted February 25 2011 - 03:24 PM

Loved it! The best film of 2010. I stuttered as a kid and it was hard to overcome. Frustration, embarrassment, anger all emerged.

Excellent film. Superbly acted.

10/10. 



#20 of 21 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted February 26 2011 - 04:20 AM

The R rating obviously comes from the fact that part of the film used the same location as a porno. ;) http://www.movieline...-porn-movie.php
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