The Kings Speech
We love our historical dramas; but then so do the Americans, which makes one wonder why relatively few make it to the big screen. The King’s Speech was reportedly made for £9 million, and by the morning after the Oscars before has supposedly taken well over £150 million at the box office. A royal mint.
But then how could any film with actors of the quality of Colin Firth – who has taken the Best Actor Oscar - and Geoffrey Rush (never less than commanding) fail? Helena Bonham-Carter too when she gets interesting stuff (more interesting than pet-hate A Room with a View say) has got huge presence.
The look of the film – lots of interiors for artistic (and maybe cost) reasons – and the way it is filmed chime well with the story, perhaps the Academy wanting consciously or otherwise to avoid Titanic hysteria the reason why its art direction didn’t get that particular Oscar and several others. Judicious choice of locations too – Hatfield House and Ely Cathedral among them never going to disappoint.
Historians may (and should) query some of the factual distortion, all the while remembering the words ‘suspension of disbelief’: though it seems impossible the vile Edward VIII (nice role for Guy Pierce to get his teeth into) could ever be painted too nastily. But forget the minor carping; this is drama not a historical document. It will probably make another £150 million now.
Current top 10
3: The Railway Children
4: The Italian Job
5: Life of Brian
7: The Third Man
8: The 39 Steps
9: The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
10: Local Hero
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