An exemplary of film making in term of acting, this film has got to be one of the best if not the best itself, ensemble that I’ve seen from 2010 films. Universally solid acting throughout, a pleasant mix between drama and (fortunately) a decidedly small dose of comedy, and more or less, an underdog story with the pleasant uplifting climax to give a satisfactory ending. Granted, this film has no antagonists to pit our heroes against and wins but in its place instead, an inner struggle of our hero. As it was, I would think that to anyone who was recently had an inner struggle to anything, anything at all, this film should be a somewhat inspiring flick to draw an inspiration from. Or two.
Colin Firth is Prince Albert, the future King George VI, father of the current Commonwealth’s constitutional monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. He wasn’t supposed to be a King when his father, King George V (Michael Gambon), died. It was supposed to be his brother, King Edward VII (Guy Pearce) to ascends the throne. However, as circumstances has it, King Edward VII abdicated the throne and therefore, forced Prince Albert to assume the throne as King George VI. Problem is, in a time when the King’s voice was supposedly to be heard through radio broadcasted live throughout the world, the King has been suffered with a case of stuttering speech from the age of five. The King had obviously seek for many helps to cure his stutters but to no avail. Until he met with Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) whom had unusual methods to cure a stutter.
Colin Firth has been on a rampage come awards season, lately. He’s been winning Best Actor awards left and right and few would’ve doubt his chance of snooping Oscar golden statue for Best Actor comes March. And if he should win, it was warranted. He magnificently portrays a wounded hero, who often snapped for his insecurities, but also shown an unmasked care and compassion toward those around him. Even toward his brother, or his mentor, Lionel. But, as compelling as he was, and I’ve got no doubt whatsoever on his quality of acting, I kept drawn to Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue.
Quite probably best known for his role as the intimidating Captain Barbarossa in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, as Lionel, he was mostly drawn to the background shadowing Colin Firth’s character. But that is how I couldn’t keep my interest toward him waned away. He perfectly complements Colin Firth’s character in a way a coin had two harmonious sides. One need only to look at the climax scene where we see nothing but Lionel, in a room, orchestrating his on-screen partner, King George VI who stand against his nemesis, the mic. It was clearly, and by far, the best scene in the film. Suitable for climax as it was very uplifting, and if you’ve seen this film and didn’t have any fond recollection of it, then I think you should stop reading this blog because clearly, we’re talking in a different language when it comes to film appreciation.
I once said that British actors tend to be better than their American counterparts. This film is a perfect staple of it. Everyone in this film, from significant role brought forth by Helena Bonham Carter whose part becoming one of my few memorable female performances from the year’s past, to smaller roles such as Michael Gambon as King George V, and Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill, they brought an eloquence to this period piece. Now if I was about to nitpick, I’m probably going to pick Guy Pearce but well, he hasn’t had enough screen time to become an enough distraction to marred the experience and thus, I went back to the first sentence of this review. In term of acting, this film is exemplary.
My rating: ***1/2 / **** – A staple of ensemble film with uniformly solid acting all over the board. A glowing screenplay, mixed with Colin Firth’s performance, this film manages to produces a sympathetic and compelling lead that even without an established antagonist, the film flows in a tremendous joyful fashion.