Sunday, September 5, 2010

Telluride Film Festival: Review of "The King's Speech"

The sneak showing on Saturday turned out to be the literally first complete showing of the movie, director Tom Hooper doing the final work on it I think on Tuesday. I was wondering how movies get to Telluride in circumstances like that, 127 Hours ( which I will see tonight ) and Black Swan ( see tomorrow hopefully) are the other two sneak peek- do you think the directors come with them as their carryon luggage?
By the way, the nearest decent airport in any given direction is two hours- either Montrose or Durango, Colorado- and the town of Telluride is in a box canyon- you can drive through the town and up over Black Bear Pass, coming down in Ouray Colorado- but the pass is considered by most to be the most to be the most treacherous of all 4X4 roads and actually it is one way- so maybe you can come into Telluride from there and drive through. Needless to say it takes some doing to get here but there are lots and lots that come and I think the best reason for coming this year (apart from finding out about the 7 part series on TCM called Movie and Mogals) is to see Colin Firth ( a.k.a. Mr. Darcy in PBS's Pride and Prejudice...)

though I liked the other Mr. Darcy way....better!)

But getting back to The King's Speech, it also stars Geoffrey Rush ( a.k.a.- Captain Barbossa from the Pirates of the Caribbean- according to the hotel cook who I rode a gondola with and let me know he was checked in to her hotel.)

The showing also included a Q and A with Firth, Rush and the director Tom Hooper...

 who also directed John Adams...

starring Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney- a Telluride local- but that is getting off the subject.

 The movie is set in the 1930 when radio was invented and as his father, King George the V played by Michael Gambon, a.k.a Dumbledore)

tells his son " We use to be able to wave to the crowd from a horse, now we have to be actors". Problem is Bertie ( family nickname- a.k.a King George the VI has a severe stutter- that prevents him from speaking to the public and England is entering a tremenchous time in their history with the death of King George the V, the abductation of King Edward to marry the twice divorced American Wallace Simpson.
Then World War 2 comes and although the monarchy of England had no real power, it up to the new King to hold the country together and be a voice of hope- with speeches from the new found Radio.
In comes Lionel Logue, an Australian-born speech therapist with modern ideas of curing him- a monarch that was not use to even speaking to a commoner now was under ones authority.
I cannot say enough about the "banter" between Firth and Rush in The King's Speech- Rush is hilarious (sounds strange in a movie of this serious nature) and Firth- as the stiff aristocrat is his perfect straight man.
Helena Bonham Carter ,( a.k.a. Bellatrix Lestrange),

is the perfect Queen Mother- probably her most sophisticated role in a long time and one she shows her great versatility as an actress.

Interesting note- According to Hooper from the Q and A, the author- David Seidler - had this idea like thirty years ago and sought permission from the Queen Mother to write it...

 the response she gave him was "not in my life time, because the events surrounding it are too painful."
What I loved about this movie was how well the personal pain of very public people were portrayed. It truly gave a look into the family of the Windsors- where younger generation might only get a few minutes with their royal parents and the rest of their care was given over to nannies- Bertie finally describing a rather painful childhood memory hit me in the gut.
It also introduces the new idea that psychology might play a part in physical infirmities- one that monarchy greatly resisted.
I hate to have to say this- to come to a film festival and start predicting the Oscars this winter- but I would be very ,very surprised if this movie and Firth and Rush are not on the list- if not there I will be giving my own speeches on "Popcorn and Movies!"

The Kings Speech

release date: November 26th 2010
"I'm probably going to see this again here at the festival and will see if again in theaters- it is that good!!)

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