Tag Archives: colin firth

The King’s Speech (2010)

The King’s Speech is another of those films that I never saw in theaters, which I regret because of how much I enjoyed it.

Featuring an all-star cast, with Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter in the lead roles, The King’s Speech succeeds in its simplicity. The film’s score by Alexandre Desplat is light and simple, there are no explosions or CGI special effects, or any action scenes/car chases, but it still manages to be completely enthralling. Colin Firth’s performance as the stuttering King George VI is what makes the film so fantastic, but it’s not just his flawlessly consistent stutter that makes him so good; it’s everything outside of the stutter that he brings to the table that makes his performance so memorable. We see the common human troubles that this monarch fights with, from everything to bullying, food deprivation, to disappointment from his father, but Firth doesn’t just tell us all of these things – we’re able to see it in how he moves, how he behaves, and how he talks.

Though Firth is the one who carries the movie, Rush as Lionel Logue is great as well, but, then again, when isn’t Geoffrey Rush great? Through his performance, we see a man who believes in other people’s potential to the fullest, and in Carter’s performance as George VI’s husband we see one hundred percent emotional support, but, again, these aren’t things that we have to be told to understand – all of this is clearly displayed in the way the actors present their characters. It’s difficult to explain, but it’s obvious when you watch the movie yourself.

A movie definitely worthy of its Academy Award for Best Picture, The King’s Speech is more than I expected from a subject matter that seems bland at first glance (and, to be honest, it is), with Colin Firth’s outstanding performance carries the film above and beyond what it might have been without him. It’s fun at times, it’s incredibly dramatic at times, and there are even moments that could break your heart, but it never stops being entertaining and a pleasure to watch.

Chad

Rating: 4 (out of 5)

MPAA: R – for some language

Note – This movie is rated “R” for language by the MPAA, but it is a ridiculous rating. The only bad language found in this film is limited to two separate scenes in which it is used quite extensively but in a completely non-offensive way. Feel free to be your own judge, but I say that this is a film perfectly suitable for teenagers.

P.S. – Read my review of this film’s score, composed by Alexandre Desplat, here!


The King’s Speech (2010) – Alexandre Desplat

I’ve told this story on here before on my review of Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross’ score to The Social Network, but I don’t mind repeating it. I bought the scores to both The King’s Speech and The Social Network because, after expecting The King’s Speech to win the Academy Award for Best Original Score and watching The Social Network win, I wanted to decide for myself which one was better. To my surprise, I enjoyed The Social Network‘s score more, but Desplat’s music here is still fantastic.

The beauty of this score is found in its simplicity. It doesn’t strive to wow the audience with loud brass or soaring strings but opts instead for quiet, peaceful melodies played on piano and strings. In fact, the whole album is like a piano solo with string accompaniment, which is different and refreshing for a film soundtrack.

The main theme, “The King’s Speech”, is light and bouncy, though not “bouncy” in the same sense as Thomas Newman’s Wall-E score; it’s a bouncy that feels authentic to the time period without feeling overly dated. In other words, it’s not a burden to listen to. At the end of the track, we lose the bouncy quality to a painful strain of music, representing “Bertie’s” shame regarding his speech disorder.

I’ve always said that Alexandre Desplat is the king of emotion in film scores; it’s certainly apparent in The King’s Speech. Tracks like “The King is Dead” and “Memories of Childhood” easily convey sadness and grief, while “The Threat of War” dispenses the same anxiety as does Colin Firth’s character in the film. While not composed by Desplat, the choice of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 – Mvmt. II for “Speaking Unto Nations” deftly exemplifies the building confidence that Firth’s character experiences while reading his speech.

Overall, while it may not be the revolutionary wild ride that Reznor/Ross’ score to The Social Network may be, the score to The King’s Speech is evidence enough to show why Desplat is one of the best composers in the business. His ability to match the tone and period of the film in his music and to convey even the most complex of emotions sets the standard for his peers.

Rating: 4 (out of 5)

  1. “Lionel and Bertie”  2:11
  2. “The King’s Speech”  3:55
  3. “My Kingdom, My Rules”  2:51
  4. “The King is Dead”  2:06
  5. “Memories of Childhood”  3:37
  6. “King George VI”  3:06
  7. “The Royal Household” 1:44
  8. “Queen Elizabeth”  3:35
  9. “Fear and Suspicion”  3:24
  10. “The Rehearsal”  1:43
  11. “The Threat of War” 3:56
  12. “Speaking Unto Nations (Beethoven Symphony No. 7 – II)”  5:03
  13. “Epilogue (Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor” – II)”  3:56

Total Length: app. 42 min.

iTunes Album Link

-Chad

P.S. – Read my review of the film here!