Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The King's Speech

Wanting an escape from the stress and hard work of shifting house, (though of course, nothing compared to having to what Canterbury is going through) and just needing a break, I decided to visit the cinema. Refreshing indeed.

There was plenty of gritty-looking movies to choose from, but I am glad I picked the above, The King's Speech. I just loved every moment and every detail, from the wonderful acting by a sublime cast, including Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham-Carter and of course, the illustrious Colin Firth. Really enjoyed the lush sets, the history lesson and the story itself, which was never boring or stuffy. Who would have thought a film about a stutterer would work, but it does, and it is a humane, thoughtful subject. It also gives one an interesting look into the imagined inner-lives of royalty

A film that was different, told a brave tale, and with sublime production values, ala Merchant-Ivory. Of the other Oscar contenders I have only seen Black Swan, (average, I thought), and the Social Network. I am glad that the top prize went to the King's Speech, very well deserved. It's great to see 'films' getting made again, rather than action-packed 'movies. True Grit looks really good, as does Conviction. At the moment, a sublime feast of quality cinematic joys seem to be on offer. Black Swan was never dull, but I felt it relied too much on shock value, rather than a really good script. It had the potential to be awesome, but I was disappointed. A potentially great story not fufulling its promise, in my view.. Also, there is very little ballet in it., overall, nor much realism. For a good ballet movie, 1977's The Turning Point, starring Anne Bancroft and Shirley McClaine, is still very very hard to beat! Anyway, loved The King's Speech. This is how they used to make them!

 My worst movie of the year absolutely has to be the ghaslty Burlesque, which I found cheesy, cliched and just plain boring. The dancing was dull, the characters harsh and unappealing, the story a rehash of smoky Hollywood B-graders. Only the singing was remotely interesting, but I could not wait for the end credits to roll. Cher's myriad talents were sorely wasted on this glitzy puff, which is a real shame. Suffering through Burlesque made me wish I was watching Silkwood instead. (A film where Cher matches Meryl Streep every step of the way).

I did enjoy the Social Network, but for me, it was a tad glib and glossy, although fascinating all the same.  So, The King's Speech is without a doubt my favourite movie of the year, having all the incrediants of a long-lasting, well-made and memorable film. And not one computerised special effect in sight, thank goodness! Instead it relied on the timeless values of great acting, a wonderful script and divine, lush cinematography. Loved the sets and the costumes, too. The story is original and fascinating. An unusual subject, handled with panache. A touch of the historical as well. What more could you ask for?

An excellent year for good films overall, it's so neat to have such a strong bunch in contention for the accolades and awards. Reminds me of the great (retro) times past! Keep them coming, and just maybe, the public will return en mass to the joys of great and lasting cinema.

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