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The King’s Speech (2010)

Because I bloody well stammer!

— King George VI

Colin Firth is coming into his own as an actor with his nuisanced performance in last year’s A Single Man. He is getting more notice for his latest movie, The King’s Speech. Personally, I thought the movie was going to be a boring movie about British people talking for two hours. It’s a lot more than that. Will it win Best Picture of the year? No. That doesn’t mean that the movie was horrible. It’s a solid movie.

Halfway through this movie, I did not realize that the story was about Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI (Firth). It deals with his struggle with a speech impediment that he has dealt with since he was a little boy. The movie starts in 1924 when he had to give a speech to his fellow countrymen. It does not go very well. He is embarrassed about his stuttering.

During the years afterward, Albert, Duke of York, before he was would be king, tried everything under the sun to get rid of his stutter, including smoking and stuffing his mouth with marbles. His wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) goes out to search for the perfect speech therapist to help out her frustrated husband. She thinks that she has found him in Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), an over-the-hill Australian theater actor. She has to go under the pseudonym of Johnson to not distract their royalty status.

The Duke is skeptical about the unorthodox methods of Mr. Logue. Their first session together is a disaster when Lionel tried to be on a level playing field with The Duke. They wanted to be on a first name basis with the Duke calling him, “Lionel” and Lionel calling The Duke his family nickname, “Bertie.” Bertie reluctantly agree to one session with him and is surprised about what he could do. As their sessions go on, Lionel tries to pinpoint the exact cause of his stuttering.

I don’t know what it is, but I think I have a bias of British movies. Is it because it deals with the monarchy that I have no knowledge of? Is is the accents? The stuffy attire? Who knows? There were some bring points with the movie. Colin Firth is brining his A game here. I have never seen a photo of King George VI and I have no idea what he sounded like during his speech, but I felt fine that he exposed a flaw in the perfect monarchy. Geoffrey Rush’s quirky performance was the standout for me. I thought Helena Bonham Carter was nice, but her character didn’t have much gravitas. She was the doting wife and that’s it. Lastly, it was hilarious to me that Guy Pearce would be playing Firth’s older brother, David.

Judgment: It’s a solid movie about a part of history that we never knew. It tells the story of the unsung hero, Lionel Logue.

Rating: ****

2011 SAG Award Nominations

2011 SAG Awards nominees list

A list of nominees for the 17th Screen Actors Guild Awards

Outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role
Jeff Bridges, “True Grit”
Robert Duvall, “Get Low”
Jesse Eisenberg, “The Social Network”
Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”
James Franco, “127 Hours”

Outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role
Annette Bening, “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman, “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Winter’s Bone”
Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”
Hilary Swank, “Conviction”

Outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role
Christian Bale, “The Fighter”
John Hawkes, “Winter’s Bone”
Jeremy Renner, “The Town”
Mark Ruffalo, “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush, “The King’s Speech”

Outstanding performance by a female actor in a supporting role
Amy Adams, “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter, “The King’s Speech”
Mila Kunis, “Black Swan”
Melissa Leo, “The Fighter”
Hailee Steinfeld, “True Grit”

Outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture
“Black Swan”
“The Fighter”
“The Kids Are All Right”
“The King’s Speech”
“The Social Network”

Outstanding performance by a stunt ensemble in a motion picture
“Green Zone”
“Inception”
“Robin Hood”

TELEVISION

Outstanding performance by a male actor in a drama series
Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire”
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
Michael C. Hall, “Dexter”
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
Hugh Laurie, “House M.D.”

Outstanding performance by a female actor in a drama series
Glenn Close, “Damages”
Mariska Hargitay, “Law & Order: SVU”
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”
Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men”
Kyra Sedgwick, “The Closer”

Outstanding performance by a male actor in a comedy series
Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
Steve Carell, “The Office”
Chris Colfer, “Glee”
Ed O’Neill, “Modern Family”

Outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
Tina Fey, “30 Rock”
Jane Lynch, “Glee”
Sofia Vergara, “Modern Family”
Betty White, “Hot in Cleveland”

Outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series
“Boardwalk Empire”
“The Closer”
“Dexter”
“The Good Wife”
“Mad Men”

Outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series
“30 Rock”
“Glee”
“Hot in Cleveland”
“Modern Family”
“The Office”

Outstanding performance by a male actor in a television movie or miniseries
John Goodman, “You Don’t Know Jack”
Al Pacino, “You Don’t Know Jack”
Dennis Quaid, “The Special Relationship”
Edgar Ramirez, “Carlos”
Patrick Stewart, “Macbeth”

Outstanding performance by a female actor in a television movie or Miniseries
Claire Danes, “Temple Grandin”
Catherine O’Hara, “Temple Grandin”
Julia Ormond , “Temple Grandin”
Winona Ryder, “When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story”
Susan Sarandon, “You Don’t Know Jack”

Outstanding performance by a stunt ensemble in a television series
“Burn Notice”
“CSI: NY”
“Dexter”
“Southland”
“True Blood

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