We are adults here; let me be forthright. The only interest I have in the wedding of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, a twice divorced American woman whose marriage to Edward VIII disqualified him from remaining on the throne of England, is that it gives me a platform, albeit a rather miniscule one, to plug “The King’s Speech.” This Tom Hooper film explores the inherent difficulties of a serious speech impediment for a man who would be king – and is deservedly receiving rave reviews. This will be a momentary digression from all things wedding music related…
I shall not attempt to give a complete review of this delightful film, lest I be exposed as a third rate movie critic; let me simply say the acting is nearly flawless; the cinematography is captivating, even mesmerizing at times; and the score is wonderful. Taken together, it is one of those films that immediately immerses us in the story, and we cease to think of cameras, directors, and others just off-camera.
But the crown jewel of this film is the deep friendship that develops between the The Prince Albert, Duke of York (Colin Firth) and his speech therapist Lionel Logue, played by Geoffrey Rush. Their initial rocky encounter develops into a deep friendship, threatened just prior to the Prince’s ascension to the kingly office when “Bertie” discovers that Lionel has no official credentials as a speech therapist – he is self taught.
In their supporting roles, both Lionel Logue and Helena Bonham Carter (wife of the future King) give riveting and flawless performances.
I loved the choice of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, 2nd movement, for the underscore to the King’s triumphant final speech. Made a terrific climactic scene that much better. And no, we haven’t recorded that particular piece for our wedding music website, or any other piece from this movie, for that matter. (However, I did just play on a studio recording of it for Hal Leonard Publishing). I just couldn’t restrain myself from posting about this poignant and timeless film. I promise, the next post, and the one after that, and the one after that, will all be about wedding music, unless another timeless film crosses my field of vision.
UPDATE – The King’s Speech garnered 4 Oscars, three of them in major categories.