by Anna Campbell
I used to be a real movie maven. For many years, I worked and lived either in or near a big city centre and most weeks I used to turn up to several movies in the cinema.
These days, things are different. I live in a very pretty part of Australia but it's regional. There is a cinema fairly close but it's a pain to get to and by the time I've realised something is on that I want to see, it's gone. Lots of films and only a few screens mean runs are necessarily short. And there's not the variety I loved when I lived in Brisbane or Sydney.
These days, I see most of my movies when they come out on DVD.
So because of this, I must be about the last person on the planet to see THE KING'S SPEECH. Oh, me and that nomadic shepherd in Bhutan - the famous 2011 Himalayan Mail Strike over Macs for Yacs means he's only just received his copy. I hear he's hoping to get to it this weekend!
By the time the DVD for THE KING'S SPEECH turned up, I'd heard the hype, I'd seen the awards shows and all my friends had told me how much they loved this film.
All round, a disaster.
There's nothing worse than burdening a book or a film with expectations that can't possibly be fulfilled. I was absolutely positive I'd sit down to watch it and decide it was completely overrated. It happens to me often with films that are completely over-hyped.
That's NOT what happened this time.
Instead I was completely transfixed.
What a marvelous film. It moved me to tears, it made me laugh, it convinced me I was peeking into a real world, not actors on a set. Brilliant stuff.
Colin Firth has very rightly collected honors everywhere for his brilliant portrayal of King George VI (and for me to forget it's CF, that has to be a mind-bogglingly good performance), but I thought both Geoffrey Rush (yay, Aussie!) and Helena Bonham-Carter were equally good in perhaps not quite such attention-grabbing roles.
Everything was right about this film. The look. The tone. The emotional arc of the characters. And most of all, it had so much heart. I really felt I'd lived through this time with those characters and my life was richer for it.
Can't say much more for a film than that, can you?
I think a lot of the credit for that can be given to writer David Seidler who stuttered as a child and who had a lifelong ambition to bring this amazing story of Lionel Logue and his royal client to the screen. David Seidler's life story is terrifically moving too and a wonderful story of triumph over adversity too - here's the Wikipedia link.
So did you love the King's Speech? What's the last great movie you saw? How do you see most of your movies these days?