Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush are both just incredible, impeccable actors, and to see them sparring with each other, vulnerable and funny, makes The King’s Speech look tremendously promising:
Royalty’s such an anachronism for Americans, we don’t understand it or understand why it might be important to understand it. With the modern presidency, men choose it, or choose to contest for it, at least. And it’s a prize that makes sense. For eight years, at most, you’re the most powerful person in the country, and though it’s exhausting, controversial, and rough on your family, when you retire, you do so to inevitable riches, prestige, protection and a lifetime of privilege. With royalty in England, what you have to offer them most is the sum total of your person, and you have to do it forever. The Queen did a tremendous job of portraying what happens when that offer fails, or isn’t made, or recognized.This looks to be a far more intimate, and warmer, portrait of a person at an earlier stage in his personhood. It makes me wish Helena Bonham Carter would spend a lot more time doing period pieces, and a lot less time working with her partner, unless Tim Burton decides to find another role as suited to her as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. She looks quite fine here as a woman who is allured into the slightly odd-for-her-time, rather than as someone who is bringing the entire circus with her.