Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Academy Screening #7: The King's Speech

Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting, Everything Else, Etc etc: The King's Speech

Will it win? I wouldn't be surprised. 

Should it have been nominated? Maybe? Hard to tell. 

I'm glad Geoffrey Rush exists. And I'm glad to have Colin Firth up against Jesse Eisenberg for Best Actor. Though it is obvious that Firth will win (even though Eisenberg would win in the Academy Awards of My Brain) I'm glad to have that choice. The film was good, and it had a couple of great scenes. In the opening scene, Firth stutters over a megaphone in a sports arena, and his syllables are broadcast over the crowd then back into his microphone then back to the crowd ... "Kkkk .... Ffff ..." It's something I've never heard on film before. It was also incredibly moving the first time Firth sings what he needs to say. 

It's funny watching the film at the Academy. This colors it for me in a strange way. I listened to a friend of a friend's podcast interview with the screenwriter, and Seidler said "King's Speech" is basically a sports film: "Rocky at the Royal Palace." I think this is hilarious for many, many reasons. Rocky, the only film to win best picture twice, thirty years apart! The movie's studied apoliticism is also interesting. I like the idea of a monarchy movie being only about friendship. I'm not sure if the film's visual style enhanced the story or just got in the way. The opening credits are beautifully framed, and many times the wide angle, exaggerated framing works for me, but I know that at a certain point I was just thinking about who was in the left side of the frame and who was in the right, and if the sides changed each scene and if that meant anything thematically. It's a fun script to watch play out, and it is always fun to see Geoffrey Rush verbally spar. I'm not sure I would come back to it for anything else, though. 

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