Monday, July 11, 2011

Anna Campbell: Spiffing Speech

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?


marybelle said...

I watched THE KING'S SPEECH on DVD 2 nights ago. I laughed & was moved. It is the last great movie I have seen. I saw it at the cinema when it first came out. I will do this if I think the movie worth the price of the ticket, otherwise I can wait for the DVD to come out.

Daz said...

Do you know, now next to that guy in Bhutan, I'm the second to last person who has not seen the film and pretty soon I will be the last, because I hear the guy in Bhutan recently got his copy as well.

I'm a little afraid to watch this film because of all the build up and the expectations, but I'm glad that it's not been the case for you. There's hope for me then, since, I'm not nearly as discerning as you are. I'm just out for a good time. :-)

The last movie I saw was actually very recent. We had a free night while in the US and X-men First Class was showing. I managed to convince the boy to take me and I was in comic fan girl heaven, having grown up on Marvel and DC comics from way back. (Bet you didn't know that about me, did you, Anna??) I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but before this one? I think it was the 25th Anniversary performance of Les Miserables at the O2 arena in London, shown in Gold Class in Sydney for one night only. That was over a year ago.

We're not big movie goers by any stretch of the imagination. Possibly 1 or 2 movies a year at the cinemas, the same number at home via DVD. We'd rather kick back with a good book.

krazymama_98 said...

Almost never go to theaters. Last one was The Blind Side. Before that, years, I am sure. All films are on dvd. Loving sons NetFlix. Might have to get one of my own. They dont put out very many good movies. And not even very many mediocre movies. And even fewer romantic comedies. My favorites. And I loved loved The Kings Speech. It was a shocker and terrific! So much better than I expected!

Annie West said...

Anna, I'm glad I was one of the many who told you to watch this film. It's one of the best I've seen in ages. I thought all the performances were tremendous and the characterisations very, very cleverly done. It was moving and delightful. So glad you enjoyed it!

ev said...

Nope, hubby and I still haven't seen it, although he did read the book and loved it. I have to either see if it's on Netflix or go buy it.

I go to the movies alot. I love action flicks and those are always best seen on the big screen. Can not wait for Captain America. And Harry Potter, of course.

Jo's Daughter said...

Haven't been to the theater in ages & can't remember he last time I watched a dvd. I've been a movie fan for a great number of years but in 2011 I'm much more focused on reading books. I'm up to 5 a week & this leaves no time for tv or film. As I do have other things I like to do, but uhm this sounds like a great one so I'll put in on a list and watch it sometime later. Maybe next year or the year after that ;)

Tona said...

Hi Anna,
You just gave the best description I could ever give myself. I also loved this film, I love Colin Firth and I think he is a great actor, actually one of the best today, but in this movie he was absolutely amazing! I also agree with you about the great performance of Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham-Carter. I think it is one of the best films I have seen in the past few years.
Normally I don't go to the movies, I think the price is too much to watch something that in the end it's a disappointment but my daughter and I made an exception on this one and we were not sorry for it. We have a habit to buy the DVD if we think the movie is good and I know my daughter already got it :)
I'm glad you wrote about it here. I'm sharing in FB.
Delia Tona

Na said...

Can you believe I have yet to watch King's Speech? It seems everyone has and have great things to say about it, makes me want to watch it ASAP. I haven't watched cinematic movies in awhile (do watch TV ones), and the ones I have watched were just okay. An al-time favourite is TITANIC, I love the visual representation of the era and the spcial effects. The last movie I saw and enjoyed was TANGLED, a Disney Princess movie.

Anna Campbell said...

Hi guys! Sorry I've been AWOL. Got visitors staying and I've been wrangling them and not getting to the computer. I'll be back soon and answer everyone, promise! Thanks for popping by to share your thoughts.

Anna Campbell said...

Mary, isn't it a great film? So glad you loved it. I'm hoping to see it again too. I'm sure there's a lot more layers that I'll pick up a second time around.

Anna Campbell said...

Deanna, definitely give this one a go. I think it's so understated, even with the hype, you're drawn in. I LOVE Les Mis - remember seeing the 10th anniversary concert which was marvellous and starred great Aussie actor Philip Quast. I did NOT know that about the comics! You're such a woman of mystery, D!

Anna Campbell said...

KM, I was surprised at how much I loved TKS too - I think it was beautifully done. I've got The Blind Side on my list of movies to come but it hasn't arrived yet - I've got the Aussie equivalent of Netflix!

Anna Campbell said...

Annie, I remember you nag...TELLING me to see this film. Glad I took your advice - it really is great.

Anna Campbell said...

Ev, even the shepherd in Bhutan has seen the Harry Potter films but I haven't. I worry about seeing movies when I've loved the books. Been hit badly so often with that trap. Seriously, see TKS. I thought it was great.

Anna Campbell said...

JD, yay for you catching up on your reading. I must say much as I love films, nothing beats a great book for me. Definitely give this one a go, though - I loved it.

Anna Campbell said...

Tona, thanks for sharing news of the blog! You're a treasure! How wonderful you loved this film too - I thought it was really profound in its quiet way. I think it's one of the best films I've seen for ages too. And it's one that's stayed with me and I find myself thinking about it every so often.

Anna Campbell said...

Na, definitely give The King's Speech a go. I thought it was wonderful. Oh, I loved Tangled - especially the horse and that scene in the inn that turns into a major musical extravaganza. Love a great Disney movie!

Tona said...

Yes Anna, I found myself also thinking about it often even now, a couple of months after I watched it. I think I will watch it some time this week again, since we have it at home now ;)

Anna Campbell said...

Tona, I'll be right over and I'll bring the chips! ;-)

Tona said...

OHHH Anna, I would really love that! :) I'll be waiting :)
You know I like it when you call me Tona because that's the way my family call me, so you are family now <3 You are now my sister from Australia, I already have one from Dominican Republic LOL.

Anna Campbell said...

That's lovely! Well, I could call you Delia but I thought it might confuse people ;-)

Tona said...

No, just keep calling me Tona :)
When I read your books I will say, wow I'm reading a book from my Australian sister hehehe

Pat Cochran said...

The last great film that I saw in a
theater was The Blind Side, for which
Sandra Bullock won the Best Actress
Oscar. Like you, I see films on DVD
in the comfort of my home.

Pat Cochran