The King’s Speech by Tom Hooper
The King’s Speech by Tom Hooper – The Manifesto of Brilliant Acting
The King’s Speech is a British historical drama that was directed by Tom Hooper in 2010. The screenplay to the movie was written by David Seidler. The film involved such star actors and actresses as Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter. The King’s Speech was highly esteemed by critics. It won four Academy Awards and seven British Academy Film Awards. Rex Reed declared it the best movie of 2010 (Reed, 2010).
The film presents the private story of a renowned historical figure, King George VI of Britain. In his family circle, he was known as Bertie. Since childhood, he had been troubled by a vocal stammer condition. To cope with this problem, he asks for assistance from a self-taught speech therapist.
The political and social background is accurately observed in the movie. It is the time of the Great Depression, the fast spreading of fascism overseas, and the appearance of the mass media which became a powerful force in the daily lives of ordinary citizens.
The main idea of the film was to show the courage of a man who managed to overcome a serious disability. Because of this, The King’s Speech is an inspiring and admirable movie that teaches us to be strong and persistent in our intentions. Philip French writes: “Tom Hooper’s drama transcends its historical setting to present a compelling portrait of quiet heroism” (French, 2011).
The success of the film owes a lot a brilliant play of such knowledgeable actors as Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter, who were particularly convincing with their roles. In tote, the life of the Royal family is shown without too much pathos and theatricality.
Colin Firth plays England’s King George VI, the main character. He was awarded as The Best Actor for this role. In a truthful way, Firth shows the life of a man with his personal problems and anxieties. Watching the film, we feel as if we peep at the ordinary man, not a king. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Firth tells how he tried to develop the stammer: “I can’t really go too much into what the technical thing was, and I don’t want to frankly. I’ve got myself to a place where I was really, trying to speak and sometimes it felt that way” (Ward, 2011).
Australian speech teacher Lionel Logue performed by Geoffrey Rush is a convincing character as well. His natural body language draws our particular attention. The director Tom Hooper explains that Rush attended the lessons at Lecoq Mime School in Paris. That is why he carries his body so brilliant (Appelo, 2011). But it seems that his acting talent is limitless. Rush is also brilliant with the expression of human emotions in different situations. His character does not lose his dignity despite all difficulties. This character he portrays knows his worth and was not afraid to call the King Bertie and even argue with him. The collaboration of Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush shows the highest level of acting. They expressed psychological nuances in the relationships of their characters naturally and accurately.
Helena Bonham Carter has a real sleeper in the film. She plays the role of the king’s wife. We must admit that it is unusual for her. In her career, she used to play fantasy characters or strange women with insane make-up. Here she appears completely different: calm and noble. She plays a devoted spouse of a monarch without a hint of extravagance. Though she acts in a secondary role and appears in the frame less than other contributors, she has managed to draw attention to her character because of her professional ability as an actress.
Everyone should watch the movie The King’s Speech. This biographical film is one of the most remarkable phenomenons in cinema in the last few years, a victor of the biggest film awards. This is a story of a personal struggle – it teaches us to appreciate familial relations and loyal friendships.
List of References:
1. Reed, Rex: “Did I Stutter? The King’s Speech Is the Best Movie of the Year”. New York Observer, 22 November 2010.
2. Appelo, Tim: “The 5 Secrets of Tom Hooper’s ‘King’s Speech’ Success”. The Hollywood Reporter, 31 January 2011.
3. Ward, Victoria: “Colin Firth Admits He Is Struggling to Lose His Stutter”. The Daily Telegraph, 5 May 2011.
4. French, Philip: “The King’s Speech – Review”. The Observer, 9 January 2011.