Let's face it, I love and adore Colin Firth. So of course I was going to see The King's Speech. I've seen everything else he's in (including the utterly humorous St. Trinian's and the truly horrible What a Girl Wants.)
This movie did not disappoint, despite my high hopes for Colin Firth and an historical setting. *le sigh* OK, so I may be biased given my Colin love...just a bit. But let's face it, he rocked in this roll. You can see the growth from the quiet Bertie to the King who doesn't stutter when addressing his people on the eve of World War 2. Not many actors can play a roll with only facial expressions (I'm talking the classics like Cary Grant etc.) but Colin always pulls it off.
Geoffrey Rush was, as always, superb. If there's a part he can't play, I've yet to see it. And the same equitable and long suffering qualities you see in pretty much everything he plays (including Barbosa) can be found here. I found it ironic that Jennifer Ehle (Elizabeth Bennett in BBC's Pride and Prejudice) was Myrtle Logue, Rush's character’s wife.
(Am wondering if they cast that specifically. I've noticed that several Colin Firth films have either copious references to Mr. Darcy like St. Trinian's or that somehow the writers/directors/actors manage to get a dig in at some movie he did.)
Helen Bonham Carter...she's an actress that has a diverse acting background yet I found to be a perfectly wonderful addition as the roll of the Queen Mum. Granted, I can't picture her as the adorable 101 year old woman with the Corgis in perfectly matching hat, coat, shoes, and white gloves shaking hands with everyone and always with a smile on her face, but as a younger woman, yup. Totally there. Of course, this wasn’t about her, and it’s a shame she’s more background character than anything but the story is about Bertie and Lionel and the friendship there.
Guy Pearce...I kept thinking he looked familiar, that I'd seen him in something. According to IMDB, only this. But I did discover he played Errol Flynn in Flynn. And I'd never heard of the movie let alone seen it. I suspect it'll be bad and a huge disappointment, and filled with half-truths from that biography I read years ago that I can't remember the title of but was subsequently debunked. Alas, if I can sit through What a Girl Wants, I can sit through this. Cause it's about Errol Flynn!
Lots of familiar themes like friendship over class boundaries and the power of other's beliefs in you. But it's a classic for a reason, and that reason is that we all enjoy happy endings, whether it's good over evil or personal triumph over some sort of adversity.