Film Review: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush Star in Confident ‘The King’s Speech’

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No votes yet Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech” has been barreling through the awards season with a number of significant nominations, including six from the Chicago Film Critics Association just today. I understand why. The film does nothing wrong. It features confident production values and good performances but never reaches the peak of excellence for this critic. “The King’s Speech” is a good film that’s been inflated by some viewers to great even if it doesn’t quite deserve the throne.

The words I think of in conjunction with “The King’s Speech” are all relatively positive. It’s a nice film. It’s well-made. And its ensemble is flawless. At the same time, it’s nothing that you have not seen before. It’s not very ambitious. And it’s surprisingly cold — not the kind of film that sticks in the memory, especially in a season with so many strong contenders for your favorite films of 2010. The film is comparable to a nicely-grilled piece of chicken. It’s good and there’s nothing notably wrong with it but you’ve tasted it before and won’t truly cherish the meal as time goes by.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “The King’s Speech” in our reviews section.

The best thing about “The King’s Speech” is the likely Oscar-winning performance by Colin Firth, who stars as Prince Albert, Duke of York, the eventual King George VI, a man we meet when he’s still Prince (to Michael Gambon’s King) and who assumes that the royal throne will be occupied by his brother (Guy Pearce). Despite being a few seats from his reign, ‘Bertie’ still maintains an important enough role in royal society that his stuttering has made him something of a joke. He’s seen a number of doctors to try to cure his speech impediment but the lifelong malady continues to rule his existence.

Prince Albert’s wife Elizabeth (a wonderfully understated Helena Bonham-Carter) finds an aspiring actor who also happens to be an eccentric speech therapist named Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) and the doctor and the future King begin an unusual relationship. Lionel is undettered by Albert’s royal title and refuses to coddle his sometimes-immature behavior. He confronts Bertie and teaches him to stand up for himself and speak.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “The King’s Speech” review.

‘The King’s Speech’ stars Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Timothy Spall, Michael Gambon, Guy Pearce, and Derek Jacobi. It was written by David Seidler and directed by Tom Hooper. It opens in Chicago on December 17th, 2010. It is rated R and runs 118 minutes.

The King's Speech
The King’s Speech
Photo credit: The Weinstein Company

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