Posts Tagged ‘The King’s Speech’


03the-kings-speech-high-resIf you think a movie about a soon-to-be-monarch trying to overcome a debilitating speech impediment sounds dull, think again. Imagine a royal “Pygmalion” brimming with wit, pain and perseverance. It’s a moving and even occasionally exciting story that climaxes not on a battlefield or boardroom but with two men, one microphone and an historical speech.

Colin Firth plays the man who would be king, the Duke of York who later became King George VI when his brother Edward (Guy Pearce) abdicated the throne in 1936 and ran off with the twice divorced Wallis Simpson. A chronic stutterer he tried every cure going, including smoking, which was thought to “calm the nerves and relax the larynx,” and trying to speak with a mouthful of marbles. He has no success until he meets Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), an Australian voice coach with some unorthodox methods to help untie Albert’s tongue. Befriending the royal, he delved deep, looking for the cause of the vocal tics rather than simply working on the mechanics of uninterrupted speech. Slowly the stiff-upper-lipped Albert opens up, and with the support of his wife (Helena Bonham Carter) and his tutor / confessor, he confronts the psychological roots of his problem.

Since debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival in September there has been heavy Oscar buzz surrounding “The King’s Speech” but I think the pundits are getting it wrong. Colin Firth has been touted as a front runner in the Best Actor category, and he certainly has the film’s showiest role, but for me, the most effortless performance comes from Geoffrey Rush who brings a warm naturalism to his role.

Either way, the movie is anchored by two terrific performances and is most effective in its quiet moments—the look on Firth’s face when his daughters stop calling him father and begin calling him Your Majesty, the film’s climatic speech and Albert’s heartfelt acknowledgement that Lionel, a commoner, is his best friend. Those underplayed moments are really were the gold is.

“The King’s Speech” is, of course, about more than a speech impediment. It’s about someone who didn’t want to be king reluctantly accepting his duty, and not only finding his voice, but also giving a voice to England during the Second World War.

Oscar nominations announced, “King’s Speech” reigns supreme Written by Richard Hinkson Tuesday, 25 January 2011

The-Kings-Speech1The nominees for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards were announced Tuesday and as far as nominations go, The King’s Speech reigned supreme.

Oscar Nominees Colin Firth And Helena Bonham Carter is “The King’s Speech”

The film, which chronicles King George VI’s struggle to overcome a speech impediment, scored 12 nominations including Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture.

The Coen Brothers’ western remake True Grit scored 10 nominations, while the mind-bending thriller Inception and the Facebook biopic The Social Network garnered eight nominations each.

Other films nominees in the Best Picture category are The Kids Are All Right, Toy Story 3, Black Swan, 127 Hours, The Fighter and Winter’s Bone.

Canadian filmakers will also be in the mix in the Best Foreign Language Film category as Quebecois director Denis Veilleneuve’s film Incendies was one of five films chosen for the prize.

Film critic Richard Crouse of CTV’s Canada A.M. said while he’s pleased with the Academy’s choice of nominees overall, there were a few glaring omissions, particularly in the Best Director category.

“I wonder how movies like Inception and 127 Hours get made because apparently they’re not made by the best director of the year,” Crouse told

“Danny Boyle and Christopher Nolan, although their movies were nominated, didn’t get a Best Director nomination and I think that’s kind of an oversight,” Crouse said.

“I know it’s a narrow field; they’re only five nominees in each category except for Best Picture, but I would’ve expected those names to appear somewhere.”

But Crouse said he was glad that one particular film was surprisingly, and rightfully, recognized by the Academy.

“I was very pleased to see Winter’s Bone was nominated for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor and Best Actress for Jennifer Lawrence,” Crouse said.

“It’s a breakout role for her. Not a lot of people saw the movie but she was fantastic in the film, and I’m just pleased that people were paying attention enough to get that one nominated,” Crouse said.

Crouse made his choice on who will take the Oscar for Best Picture.

“I think Best Picture is very likely going to be The Social Network; Best Director would be David Fincher,” Crouse said.

Crouse also predicted that the chances of Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, and Melissa Leo taking home Oscar gold are very high and he has already predicted a lock for the Best Supporting Actor category.

“Frankly, in the Best Supporting Actor category, if your name isn’t Christian Bale this year, you’re not going to win,” Crouse said.

‘The King’s Speech’ leads Oscar nominations News Staff Date: Tue. Jan. 25 2011

03the-kings-speech-high-res“The King’s Speech,” the tale of King George VI’s struggle with a stammer, leads this year’s Academy Award nominations with 12 nods, including best picture and acting honours for Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush.

The British drama has already won the prestigious Producers Guild of America Award – a good omen since the Producers Guild have correctly forecast the Oscar best picture 13 times in the past two decades. But it will have serious competition from “The Social Network,” which tells the story of the early days of Facebook and which dominated the Golden Globe awards and Critics Choice awards.

The Western remake “True Grit” is next in line in nominations with 10, yet its prospects for nabbing a coveted Best Picture trophy on Feb. 27 seem smaller. The film has largely been ignored in awards so far this season, and was completely snubbed by the Golden Globes earlier this month.

Also on the ballot for best picture are the boxing drama “The Fighter,” science fiction thriller “Inception,” the lesbian family tale “The Kids Are All Right,” the stranded hiker drama “127 Hours,” the independent film “Winter’s Bone,” and the animated feature “Toy Story 3.”

“The King’s Speech” star Colin Firth, seen by many as the front-runner for the Best Actor trophy, may have some competition from Javier Bardem, whose performance in the Spanish-language “Biutiful” has been celebrated by critics. Also in the running are Jeff Bridges for “True Grit,” Jesse Eisenberg for “The Social Network” and James Franco for “127 Hours.”

Natalie Portman, currently pregnant with her first child, is seen as a favourite for Best Actress, after picking up a Best Actress Golden Globe earlier this month. But also vying for the trophy is Annette Bening for her performance in the lesbian family drama “The Kids Are All Right.” Also in contention are Nicole Kidman for “Rabbit Hole”; Jennifer Lawrence for “Winter’s Bone”; and Michelle Williams for “Blue Valentine.”

Up for best director are Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech”; David Fincher for “The Social Network”; Darren Aronofsky for “Black Swan”; David O. Russell for “The Fighter”; and Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for “True Grit.”

Notably absent from that list are “127 Hours” director Danny Boyle and “Inception” director Christopher Nolan — a snub that is already generating buzz, given that the movie is up for eight other awards.

Canadian film “Incendies”, from Quebec director Denis Villeneuve, is up for Best Foreign Language Film. The film has already been named best Canadian film by Toronto and Vancouver film critics and has collected several awards on the festival circuit.

Canada hasn’t had a film nominated for a foreign-language film Oscar since 2007, when Deepa Mehta’s “Water” was in contention. And the last time a Canadian film won the category was in 2004 for Denys Arcand’s “The Barbarian Invasions.”

Yet “Barney’s Version,” based on the novel of the same name by Canadian legend Mordechai Richler, was snubbed from any big awards. The film did earn a nomination for best makeup.

Movie critic Richard Crouse says he was surprised to see both Christopher Nolan and Danny Boyle omitted from the best directors list. But he wasn’t surprised to see “The King’s Speech” earn so many nods.

“It will win a whole bunch of those,” Crouse told CTV’s Canada AM shortly after the nominations were announced.

“I mean, it is the kind of movie that the Academy likes. We always used to talk about how the Academy is old and out of touch and that’s changed a great deal. But still, this is the kind of prestige movie that the Academy likes and it’s the kind of biography that they like.”

This year’s 83rd Academy Awards will air live on CTV from Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre.

The show will break with recent traditions of using comedians as hosts. Instead, big-screen stars James Franco, a best-actor nominee for “127 Hours,” and Anne Hathaway will be co-hosts.