CJ and I have now been married for two years – and we still like each other.
We celebrated by visiting Dendy Premium cinemas for “The King’s Speech” (knowing via word of mouth that it would be stellar).
My perfect evening involves food, dessert, Baileys, CJ, a couch, and a movie – Dendy has it all. You order from a menu half an hour before going in, and you sit in pairs of enormous reclining arm chairs, where your meal and drinks are delivered at whatever time/s you desire.
The film itself is all about the horrible (and real) situation King George VI suffered through: being a public person without the ability to speak in public. As he says, “We’re not a family; we’re a firm.” Colin Firth plays the king (or rather prince), and the pain in his face is excruciating without ever becoming too much for the audience.
His wife, Elizabeth, is played flawlessly by Helena Bonham Carter (who’s come a long way since selling the worst pies in London). Geoffrey Rush plays the last in a long line of speech therapists – a determinedly antipodean fellow with determinedly antipodean manners. I hadn’t realised Rush was actually playing an Australian, and blogging this film for Australia Day turned out to be overwhelmingly appropriate (even more so since Rush has been nominated for an Oscar – along with Nicole Kidman and Jackie Weaver). Australians are no longer proud of Mel Gibson or Russell Crowe (because they’re violently idiotic and/or racist), but Rush’s performance made my heart sing.
Colin Firth, however, deserves an Oscar even more.
This is certainly not an action film, but it is full of human triumph, and is often funny. Wikipedia informs me that many of the best lines were taken directly from the real-life speech therapist’s diary of his experience.
The speech of the title – his first as King – is familiar to every British schoolboy. It is a triumphant part of the UK psyche, born in a moment that could easily have been filled with utter despair.