2010 best picture
Rating: 17/20 (Jen: 17/20)
Plot: In this hilarious remake of Harold Lloyd's Girl Shy, Harold is a future king of England who conquers his fear of public speaking (glossophobia, if you care) after driving a trolley ridiculously fast through New York City's busy streets and climbing a 12-story building. Thankfully, he lives to tell about both so that The Queen with Helen Mirren can happen sixty years later. I just don't know what I'd do if The Queen with Helen Mirren didn't exist. This also, I believe, rips off The Karate Kid. Not the original. No, the remake with Jackie Chan. I'm not sure how the Oscar people didn't catch that.
The only gripe I have here is the same gripe I have for any movie featuring a character who stutters: Mel Tillis of Cannonball Run and Cannonball Run II fame didn't get his chance to shine in a serious role. The King's Speech is that sophisticated sort of movie made so that people can throw awards at it. Not that they aren't deserved. Colin Firth's excellent as George VI. Realistic stuttering, I imagine, is difficult to pull off. I'm not a professional actor or anything although I do frequently act out scenes from my own screenplays while standing in front of a full-length mirror. And I've tried to pull off realistic stuttering, admittedly to practice in case I'm ever in a situation where I can make fun of people who stutter. Can't do it. So Colin Firth's ability to not only pull off a realistic stutter while simultaneously showing off the range of emotions that he does (quietly showing them off, I should note) is impressive. His isn't the only impressive performance--Geoffrey Rush matches Firth classy word for classy word while Helena Bonham Carter's really good as the queen. I like the way the movie is shot, too. Backgrounds are used to accentuate the characters' emotions, and there's a crispness to the picture that I really like. The movie's also not all stuttering all the time either. The natural development of the friendship between George and Lionel is just right, and there are some humorous moments in the dialogue, my favorite being during a dinner scene when somebody farts and both men point at each other before Guy Pearce's character pokes his head through a hole in the ceiling and reminds everybody that "the smeller's the feller" before blowing a raspberry, winking awkwardly, and disappearing to bugger a tart or something.
I'm starting a petition to get Colin Firth in either Cannonball Run III or a television remake of the 1970's sitcom Alice, by the way. Let me know if you're interested in signing it by leaving a comment below.
Edit: I had spelled Colin Firth's name incorrectly four times. Luckily, I fixed it before he saw it because that's the sort of thing that could ruin his year.