The King’s Speech
It is odd that I’ve had this interest in the visual for so long and just in the past year I have added a major and switched career paths. The King’ s Speech was a bizarre culmination of my interests.
The film is clearly focused on language. The Duke of York, later King George V, can’t speak without stammering and that’s basically what gets the plot moving. He meets a speech therapist, Duke is as incorrigible as Logue, the speech therapist. Helena Bonham Carter is fabulous as the Queen Mother (though I guess she is the Duchess of York for most of the movie). The entire thing is riveting and wonderful.
But my favorite part of the movie was the set design, costuming and cinematography. For a great summation, as well as images, check out one of my favorite blogs’ review of it, A Bloomsbury Life. That blog is an absolutely phenomenal. Some how, every post is inspiring and I literally end of saving half the images on my hard drive, just so I can scroll through them quickly.
As far as the movie itself, Colin Firth was amazing. If he doesn’t when the Oscar, well I might lose all faith in the Academy. I never once felt his portrayal was forced. I loved the subtlety of his acting. He briefly mentions in a confessional like discussion with Logue that he was knobbed knees as a child. Later, without pomp or notice, as the King gets frustrated and sits down, Firth silently reverts the King’s knees back to turning in.
Geoffrey Rush was also wonderful, as was Helena Bonham Carter and I would pin her as Best Supporting Actress if not for…
…Amy Adams in this movie. It is the story of two brothers who are both boxers, and starts as one brother, Christian Bale as Dicky Ecklund, is hitting rock bottom and the other, Mark Wahlberg as MickyWard, is getting a shot as the big time. Amy Adams plays Charlene, who is Micky Ward’s love interest.
Adams’ role could’ve been so simple and so bland, but she really creates a dynamic. Initially Charlene seems like she is the way out for Micky, a way to escape his family that is holding him back. But the entire time Charlene is kind of a bitch, fighting with Micky’s sisters and speaking for him. But we want to like Amy Adams’ character because Micky loves her, and as her role balances between good/bad it breaks down the dichotomy for all the characters. If Charlene can’t be simply good or bad, then neither can Ecklund, with his destructive crack addiction, or Ward and Ecklund’s overbearing mother.
For a movie about two brothers, the two women hold the entire film together. Melissa Leo as the brothers’ mother is also wonderful. However, Best Supporting Actress loves ingénues, so I really think Amy Adams will finally be walking away with the Oscar.