All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

King’s Speech smart and funny

As I write this, all around me are scrambling as they prepare for the big storm. Some one referred to it as snowmageddon. Am I missing something? This just in: It’s Canada in the winter kids. It snows. This is why people go to Florida and other points south.
In other obvious news, water is wet and the Aztecs invented the three-day weekend.
But I digress.
I saw the first great film of the year the other night. The King’s Speech is funny poignant and Oscar worthy.
Our story so far. King George the 5th might be a decent monarch and he certainly has a lovely speaking voice but the dude is a little lacking in the parenting department. Much to the chagrin of the nation and his heir apparent, the snivelling spineless David, played with considerable lack of charm by Guy Pearce, the King assumes room temperature prematurely. Before he dies we get to see him screaming at his other son, Albert, the next in line to the throne after David, to relax.
You see, Albert stammers.
He’s a naval officer, a husband and father, and a man who knows his way around the castle and the constitution, but he stammers.
We get the sense that Albert has some issues with his father. In all fairness, Mother Theresa would have had trouble with the senior George. Through a series of painful scenes we get to see just how terrible it is for Albert to have to speak in public. Colin Firth will win the Oscar and deservedly so. It’s a compelling performance. He’s never apologetic for his stammer and his humour and anger are real and palpable. You hang on every word and he has created a multi -dimensional character who captures the audiences’ empathy.
All of this is set against the historical backdrop of the impending world war. David is a wuss. He’s also a nazi sympathizer and several other things I could call him if this wasn’t a family column. He loves the handsome Mr.s Simpson, Mr.s Wallace Simpson. She may have been a dude at some point in her life and she certainly hit every branch of the ugly tree but that wouldn’t be an issue for the royals.  In fact in some cases it’s a prerequisite. The problem is that she’s been married twice before and as head of the church of England he can’t marry a divorced woman. This was 1939. It seems unthinkable that a man would leave his country in the lurch as war looms and Europe is being turned into a one-sided game of Risk by Hitler but that’s exactly what David does and he abdicates to his brother.
While all of this has been unfolding Albert has been trying to overcome his stammering. After several humiliating treatments, only one of which we’re forced to witness, he finds an unusual teacher/therapist in Lionel Logue, played admirably by Geoffrey Rush a man with a questionable credentials, a desire to act and a total lack of respect for the fact that Albert is of royal blood.
His game his rules as he tells Her Royal Highness Helena Bonham Carter (Albert’s wife) and so the game’s afoot.
He may be unconventional but you just get the sense that he has the skills to help this man.
Their ensuing friendship is what makes the film work and it works exceptionally well.
I was especially drawn to the historical backdrop of the story, which while secondary, was compelling
Prime Minister Border resigns, Churchill ascends to power and the Nazi curse gains momentum.
Against that huge canvas is this very small very intimate story of two men who made a difference in each other’s lives.
It’s very funny. I laughed through out and laugh out loud stuff.
There’s a very smart irony to all of this.
Albert is self -effacing and understands exactly who he is.
Lionel is clever and gifted and strikes exactly the right chord.
It’s brilliant.
You become aware early in that this film is going to be great and you watch it with a certain regret because you know at some point it’s going to end.
It was a different time. The monarchy mattered. The king was the leader of the free world and if England hadn’t stopped Hitler’s march who knows what might have happened. The Americans didn’t care.
So His Highness needed to rally a nation. He had to convince them that their cause was just and that another world war could be won, and had to be won.
And The King’s Speech had to be delivered with force and conviction.
The King had to convince a nation, and his speech therapist had to convince the king.
It’s a great film.
Take your kids if they’re 10 or older. It won’t kill them to see something that doesn’t have a lot of car chases or explosions
I think Inception could easily be the film of the year, because of the innovation and groundbreaking style, but this is the best thing I’ve seen in a very long time.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul

Filed Under: Paul Peterson

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