Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review: The King's Speech - Colin Firth Finds his Voice

I've mentioned time and time again that in my eyes, Colin Firth has always and will always be dreamy Mr. Darcy. So when I watch a film that makes me completely forget that part of his resume, it's pretty impressive. With the most Oscar nominations this year (at 12), The King's Speech is a royal engagement you should definitely watch before the Academy Awards on February 27th. Garnering nominations for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actor AND Supporting Actress, to name but a few, The King's Speech is based on the true tale of stammering King George VI (Queen Elizabeth's Dad).

Colin Firth played this role marvelously, consumed with an air of arrogance, but a reluctant vulnerability, fighting off demons from his traumatizing childhood. When an actor takes on an accent or a specific speech impediment, there's always the risk it could turn out too mechanical or over-the-top. In Colin's case, the stammer was not forced at all. I found myself completely captivated with his story, cheering him on from the sidelines.

But it wasn't him alone, Colin's supporting cast was equally amazing! As his wife (the Queen Mother), Helena Bonham Carter had the supportive wife bit down, with the perfect mix of helpless sympathy and compassion, the way she took on her husband's failures and successes as her own. And as King George's speech therapist, Geoffrey Rush was the only one who seemed to be able to speak to a King with such guts and gusto, with pompous confidence in his own abilities that definitely paid off. The dynamic between these three actors was phenomenal, casting couldn't have been better.

As much as this role didn't make me think of Mr. Darcy, cast members from Pride and Prejudice (BBC) were popping up throughout the film to make sure I didn't quite forget why I love Colin Firth. Don't think I didn't see you, Elizabeth (Jennifer Ehle), and Mr. Collins. By the way, did anyone else get a slight tinge of lingering attraction when Colin's character met  Jennifer Ehle's. Wishful thinking? Swoon.

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