"..a bardy view!"

The King’s Speech – a final word….

Having seen this film within days of its UK release I was clear from the outset that it was a cinematographic event. The-Kings-Speech-Poster

The plaudits are justly deserved, and the final accolade of Oscar recognition seals its position not only as a great movie, but one of the great movies of all time.

Common superlatives are generally overused by critics. Tour de force, superb, magnifique, polished etc, but in this case they are warranted.

There is no veneer scratched to expose them, nor varnish required. This movie shines naturally.

It's a film which holds seamless attention and where every actor performs with distinction. Audiences actually stand and applaud at the end.

Whenever I go to the cinema (which is rare) everyone always makes a mad dash to the exits when the end credits appear, as if they are the blue touch-paper triggering the seats to combust. Not in this case. Indeed, there was an atmosphere of sudden shock.

We knew it was over, but we wanted more. Over two hours we had spent in intimate company with characters we cared about. Not kings and queens with palaces and privilege. Just people. It was similar to reading a great book, when upon reaching the last page it is over – you know it's coming, and you approach it more slowly with regret and, because it's a book,  it can be nurtured, revisited, fondled and caressed.

With a great movie the end is the end, and we must depart with only our memories.

Such was the rich, intelligent and often humorous dialogue a second viewing would not go amiss, and I believe that it will become a benchmark for students, thespians and directors alike – indeed for anyone who is interested in the visual arts and crafts.

Not that I could be considered an expert by any means. But if I possess one single qualification it is a critical and discerning eye. The other eye has no such vision of grandeur or pretension – it's very undemanding and just absorbs the general rubbish floating around. It's my tabloid eye, which may account for its occasional bloodshot appearance. I digress.  

I'm actually disappointed more gongs at the Academy Awards weren't awarded to it. OK, it got Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Screenplay – but both Geoffrey Rush as the King's speech therapist Lionel Logue, and Helena Bonham Carter as George VI's wife Elizabeth should have received recognition for their supporting roles, and Michael Gambon's portrayal as Bertie's father George V was remarkable and moving even though he was only in two scenes. Mr Oscar should surely grace a shelf for costume, choreography et al. I consider it a travesty they were all overlooked. Still, that's Oscar.

(I've often wondered how a  little bloke without a penis can be so desired. He obviously knows a few tricks, but the great civilizations of the past would never make a statue without a significant display of phallic manhood. Actually, Oscar is rather effeminate. Maybe it's time he carried a lunchbox!)

But back to the issue. The King's Speech is an entirely British-made and funded film, receiving funds from the Aegis Film Fund and from the UK Film Council.  Well done them. It also demonstrates that quality is king, and although the production was timely due to a future king getting married soon, which will no doubt enhance its popularity, in essence the tale was about individuals coping with duty and adversity in troubled times.

Yes, it was about the British Monarchy, and many would groan "not again, surely?", but I suspect that even die-hard republicans would struggle to deny that as long as something is entertaining and well produced then what's the beef?

So I raise a glass to everyone involved in bringing this outstanding work to the screen, and that, I am certain, is definitely my final thought on the matter.

But don't take my word on it!


February 28, 2011 - Posted by | Arts, Books, Film, United Kingdom | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I must get around to watching it some day?


    Comment by Spook Moor | March 1, 2011 | Reply

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