joy magnetism: He seems to be saying it rather well

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

He seems to be saying it rather well

Magnet #1010 - King George VI (1936-1952)

A few weeks ago, I managed to squeeze into a 92Y audience for a screening of the film, The King's Speech, followed by an hour-long Q&A with Colin Firth.

If I may take a moment to say (accompanied by a little girly squee, natch), ya'll I was so close to the stage, I could see the red lint on his black pants. Seven rows back, was I - not bad, for having bought my ticket an hour before showtime.

If you don't know, The King's Speech is a Tom Hooper indie about King George VI and his work to overcome his speech impairment. The second son of King George V, Bertie (his nickname to his family, Prince Albert to the public) never expected to rule, until his older brother abdicated the throne a year into it, for that Mrs. Wallis Simpson.

Even before he ascended, Bertie's fears of public speaking had led to numerous public gaffes, and he'd already gone through a few experts for help help. But, in Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush), the man who would be king finds a friend, mentor and coach, helping him to deliver many speeches over his lifetime.

The film's been on the film festival circuit for a while, and is finally being distributed - this weekend was its opening, and it did pretty well. Not surprising, given the cast of Firth and Rush, rounded out by Helena Bonham-Carter, Michael Gambon, Derek Jacobi, and even a splash of Jennifer Ehle.

But on top of that, watching this poor man suffer and work through his stuttering, his family, and especially through his speech therapist makes for such an engaging story. By the end, you just want to cheer...but it'll be hard, through the tears.

The Q&A after the screening was a lot of fun to sit through. Colin was wearing his glasses of smart, and it makes me wonder if all dashing UK actors buy their glasses of smart at the same glasses of smart spectacles shop. He went through the filming process (working with Hooper and Rush), and talked about being able to see the first-hand source material (which was important, since he didn't have access to the royal family and the king wasn't available for "kinging" with him). And he mentioned that Helena liked to have her own little army of experts ("other people read the books, Helena just gets the authors.").

Such a great interview. Such a great movie.

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vp said...

You know I am crazy jealous, right? Can't wait to see the movie.

jen said...

Ugh. Dying to see this movie when it comes out! Do Colin and Jennifer Ehle share any scenes? Because that would be cool.

The Geek said...

Definitely seeing this movie!

My sister and I are also all set for our annual Christmas Pride and Prejudice marathon. The boxed set is out and ready, and she just needs to come back into town again. :) Larcy romance is the best.

Also: agreed, on all glasses comments.

joy said...

I don't want to spoil it, but yeah, there's a funny scene to look forward to!

I've only ever watched P&P all the way through once. Maybe it's time for a rewatch...Hmmm.