Sunday, April 17, 2011

Movie Review: The King's Speech

When I initially heard about The King's Speech (back in December or so) it sounded like a movie that might interest me but I just wasn't interested at the time. I was busy and I was also pretty sure that my school would be showing it later on. So lo and behold they did show it and I managed to get a friend to come along so I wouldn't be lonely (side note, I have no idea how I keep getting friends to come see movies they know nothing about with me, guess they should be glad by now I have good taste).

The King’s Speech

Summary: The Duke of York, second in line to the throne of England in the 1930s, has a terrible stutter and, as a result, a phobia of speaking. He wishes to get over this, to an extent anyway (he doesn’t seem to want to do much though so he comes off as rather spoiled), and events going on in the background of the story suggest that it more important than ever that he be able to rally the nation with a good speech.

The Good: Huzzah for historical dramas! A friend commented that this movie was made just to win an Oscar (I disagree that that was the intention in making the movie, but we both agreed that if that is the reason we get some good movies each year we’re perfectly okay with it) and it was a nice change of pace from what I normally see. Even without the dates the visuals of the movie clearly and quickly set up the time period and manages to show the passage of time through the years, from the late 1920s to Britain's entrance into World War  II.  Despite covering so many years the movie is well paced

The Bad: As a quick note, there seems to be a PG-13 version of the movie airing in the US as well as the original R rated version and, since the R rating would be only because of language, people should really see the R rated version (also, the one scene with the most cursing is hysterical). As for the movie, Albert can be very hard to relate to throughout the entire film, even knowing all the stress and pressure he's under. At times he comes off as a spoiled prince who hates to be told to do things and takes a long time to come around and trust Lionel's help. It also appears that this movie is a bit historically inaccurate which, while a given in most historical movies anyway, does make me question how much of it was accurate then.

The Music: I liked how all the music played over the radio or all the speeches had a slightly scratchy noise to them, just a little detail that I thought gave the movie a little more authenticity. Other than that, nothing about the music really stood out to me in the film and since I don’t remember having any complaints about it it certainly wasn’t bad either.

The Visuals: Over the past couple of years I’ve noticed a couple of differences between British and American cinematography now and just from the video I was able to tell this was a British film. Specifically, it was all the close up shots of people’s faces as they are listening to someone/thinking so you see their face and then get the reaction a second or two later, I just don’t notice that in American films as much. I liked that and it really worked here since the whole movie was about Bertie and Lionel so it makes sense to have that much visual focus on a character driven movie. 

Whew, glad I didn't try to post yesterday after all, I might have just been at a mini-con but it wiped me out. I thought about trying to write up another post for my buffer but was too tired to even do that. Anyway, thing should be normal around here for the next two weeks or so and then my exams start and summer vacation starts so the updates may get a little wonky, I'll be sure to post and say if I'm not going to be able to post some days.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for reviewing this artful masterpiece and I hope that future generations will enjoy it the way we have enjoyed “Gone with the Wind.” I think the music was meant to be forgettable as the script, cinematography and acting carried the movie so that the movie was what was remembered. I saw it in HD on my DISH Network employee receiver and honestly I was very impressed with the directing and how realistic it looked for the period it was set in. DISH has many movies in HD to choose from too on ( as well.