You’ll have heard plenty about The King's Speech, as critics fall over themselves to heap praise on the latest offering from Tom Hooper, and it’s easy to see why, as there is much to admire.
The movie, which tells the story of King George VI’s impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it, hangs on two outstanding central performances that conflict, contrast and bounce off each other perfectly. Geoffrey Rush plays the colonial commoner who attempts to heal the stutter of Colin Firth’s reluctant royal. Rush is fun and uninhibited while Firth is rigid as a wall. It makes for a fantastic dynamic as they forge quite the strangest friendship.
There are fine supporting performances from Helena Bonham Carter and Guy Pearce, while Timothy Spall has great fun being Winston Churchill as England lurches towards war. But this isn’t really a film about war, nor is about royalty. It is about breaking down class divides, it is about perseverance , it is about strength of character. Ultimately it is a film about friendship and, while the movie ends with England at war with Germany, it still leaves you feeling full of hope and warmth. And that is quite the achievement, when you think about it.
With Firth having already picked up a Golden Globe for his performance, he is sure to be one of the favourites when the Oscars come around. If he wins it, it will be richly deserved.
Review by Rob Townsend. Check out the trailer below.