I must admit that with all the hype and Oscar buzz attributed to a film, I can often walk out of a movie disappointed. This certainly not the case for The King's Speech (opening in Australia on Boxing Day, 2010).
When I first heard of this movie a month or two back, I was instantly intrigued. I had grown up on stories of King and Empire. One that my mother's side of the family would often tell was that of how an Australian doctor helped the King overcome his stammer and kept the Empire strong in World War II. My grandfather was a Kangaroo (and travelled throughout the Empire and France for Rugby), so was one of the few men of his generation to see the Empire/Commonwealth during good times and bad. Staunch monarchists, my family would tell me story after story of Australians who helped build and save the Empire (often while telling the British to get nicked).
To see a story I had grown up with portrayed on the big screen was such a delight and the way it was told was breathtaking.
Some of the shots stopped me dead in my tracks, and the acting of Firth and Rush was brilliant. Rush plays the larrikin Australian so well - his accent just strong enough and with the right smattering of colloquialisms to be outstanding and not cringeworthy. Firth's George VI was incredible. The emotion he could portray without speaking, or trying to speak, was beyond any adjective and your heart filled with his pain, sorrow, fear and bravery.
The script was incredibly well written.
The personal backstories of each character was so brilliantly developed.
Set the scene of pre-war time Britain incredibly well.
The simplicity of the movie.
Dramadey at its best.
I wasn't that sold on how Edward VIII (Guy Pearch) was portrayed as such a vapid and vacuous individual ruled by Wallace Simpson.
There are a couple of moments in the movie that are still very clear in my mind.
One, in Logue's treatment room with "Bertie" looking left and the torn wallpaper behind him. The second is after he becomes George IV and his two daughters curtsey and call him Your Majesty all formal and restrained - heart breaking.
There are preview screenings this weekend at Palace Cinemas so do check it out - alternatively you can wait a week and a bit and see it on Boxing Day. This movie is a must see, and I will be going again on Boxing Day.