Bertie and Lionel

Unsurprisingly, whether or not a movie has received an Academy Award (or Oscar if you will ) is not necessarily a good measure for the quality of the piece when you consider how many crappy movies have gotten the little golden bugger over the years, but occasionally the jury proves at least a tiny bit of good instinct and taste and picks out something that is both entertaining yet provides enough depth to keep your brain occupied. It so happens that this year’s frontrunner in several categories, "The King’s Speech" , is exactly that. I’m working on a review for another (German) website and already have watched it twice, probably throwing in a third time tomorrow and I managed to do that after literally working 14 hours a day for the last two weeks on a big project plus my little hobby ventures. That alone says something when a movie keeps you glued to the screen despite all the stress! In a way it is oddly relaxing to watch. It’s exactly the kind of movie that I enjoy – it has tons of polished dialog without overburdening or over-interpreting the thing and sprinkling in just enough other story parts to keep it flowing without interrupting the main arc, which of course is the friendship between the king to be and his speech therapist. It also helps that the two main protagonists are played by actors that haven’t been beaten to death in other movies and you can actually enjoy something fresh in terms of performances. Before this movie in fact I only knew Colin Firth from Conspiracy, which is another one of my favorites and I immediately recognized Geoffrey Rush from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies of course. The story is based on real events with the usual liberties of artistic interpretation, but sometimes feels a bit awkward. There are a few scenes with his daughters that try to establish the king as a "normal family man" which are a bit schmalzy and could have been trimmed and on the other hand you never get enough background info about all the family and political plots at the royal court and the world spinning towards another big war at the time. That’s pretty much my only real peeve with it – unless you are a royalist or history afficionado to begin with, it will take you a few minutes to look it all up on the Internet or in some book and when you do, you end up regretting how some of the more complex relationships have been simplified a bit too much. Luckily this is made up for in the dialog scenes, which are in a way rather brilliant. The chemistry is just astounding and you actually can accept that those completely contrary character types – the rough, somewhat blunt Aussie vs. the more than tight Brit frozen in his sense of obligation and tradition – could have befriended each other and throughout there are those moments where you feel sad for both of them followed by those optimistic, sometimes funny parts that give you this warm and satisfying soft grin. it’s quite emotional at times. This is definitely a good movie to cuddle up with your partner and have a nice evening…

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