In the vein of the great film “The Queen” we delve back into the life of the British monarchy for a film about her father, King George the VI. Having read up and researched the varying opinions on this film, I found that most judge this to be little more then a made for TV movie put to the big screen. Now, I know that a vast majority of us have HD televisions at this point in life, so i can see how some may have an opinion of such, but in watching this, I found it to be less Made-For-TV and more of a traditional British film, shot very precisely, without additional modern flair that might be the rule in many other dramatic pictures, especially in America, where drama needs to be epic.
No, in this case, the historical plot line, coupled with the rich and simple story of a man who was never meant to be king attaining such a right as his country reaches an impasse – leaving him to be the unifying force of an entire nation. The screenplay was richly written, and sublimely creative, forgiving enough and vast enough to allow for all the subtleties of the actor’s craft to shine. It is the fertile, rich soil which allows the talent to grow, spreading their branches far and wide
It is always the best and greatest measure of a dramatic talent when you don’t even realize who they are, just that they are there, in character, living this existence. I spent the first few scenes of the film before I was aware I was watching Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth (Or, as many of us might know her, the “Queen Mum”). Simply wonderful are the first things that come to mind with her; tender and endearing, she plays the stoic, tough wife of King George the VI. This was the perfect role for her, as a loving disciplinarian, and as someone willing to go the extra mile, go the distance for her husband.
The ying to King George’s yang would lie with Lionel Lougue, as wistfully mastered by Geoffrey Rush. He is every bit as important to King George as the King is himself. As a quirky therapist, thespian and teacher, he shows less range then the other characters – but more empathy and heart then all the others put together. He understand not only himself but the man he is working with, a simply mastery that is lightly touched upon with the gentle grace of solemnity.
Lastly, Colin Firth as the Stuttering King George the VI. Firth likened the role to that of a pro athlete, that doing such an intense stutter utilize different parts of his body at different times. What amazed me the most about his character is the regal-ness of him from beginning to end. He held himself as a king, even as he struggled; the subtleties of his character is not only breathtaking to watch but amazing to comprehend. By working to hard to emulate the former king’s speech patterns he channeled the king himself in a superb performance.
Easily one of the five best films of the year, brilliantly acted (as I stated to my friend, LOS “You know you have watched a truly amazing film where Geoffrey Rush is the worst actor in it and it is still simply brilliant”) and written. This critically acclaimed film was a simply joy to watch; I expect not only Oscar gold for it, but that I will also be watching it again very soon.
Next: 127 Hours