I was absolutely blown away, and yet glued to my seat all in the same moment. The acting was, in a word, powerful. The story, compelling and truly inspirational. The film as a whole, well, it was a splendid piece of work that I predict will stand the test of time.
Rather than giving a scene-by-scene retelling of the story in my own words, as I more often do in these sort of posts, I'd like to point out a few things that I noticed, admired, and enjoyed during the movie:
- The Rule of Thirds: As someone who appreciates the visual arts and from time to time practices photography and graphic design, I realized that the "rule of thirds" played a substantial part in establishing the tone and style for the movie. Almost as if when watching it, the audience feels trapped in the same fears and constrictions that keep Colin Firth's character, King George the sixth, from overcoming his stammer. On the other hand, it also gives the film a great deal of balance, an air of being regal, civilized and traditional through and through.
- The Time Period: I love it whenever a movie takes me someplace I've never been before, and "The King's Speech" has definitely done that. If/when you, the reader, watch this movie, notice the big, black, lovably bulky cars; the costumes and fashions of the royal and the countrymen alike; the antiquated technology (radios, typewriters, the like) that was all that was available at the time; and perhaps most of all, the language and vocabulary of England in the 1930s.
- The Cinematic Experience: By this, I mean the atmosphere and mood of the audience in the theater where my family and I were sitting in. I can't speak for the rest of the audience that night, but I felt that most everyone was really enjoying themselves. After the scene where Colin Firth delivers the titular speech (while Geoffrey Rush silently coaches him through the whole thing beautifully), there's a triumphant shot where King George, his wife Queen Elizabeth the first (played by Helena Bonham Carter) and his two daughters, Princesses Elizabeth II and Margaret, are triumphantly waving from the balcony to the adoring, cheering public below. It looked like so much fun to wave just like royalty, so some of my family and I started waving like the characters were. Then I noticed a couple more people in the theater audience waving too, and it just made me smile. That little gesture, one that you might miss if you blinked at the wrong second, was a clincher for me that "The King's Speech" had earned it's awards and accolades. Positive audience participation is a huge bonus!
Thank you for reading this review, and sorry for the long wait in between blog posts. I've just been working a lot, and going to sleep late. I'll try to blog more often though, so keep an eye open for upcoming reviews and opinions soon.