Movie Review – The King’s Speech

I haven’t been to the theater to see a movie in quite a while — since before the holidays, I believe!!! No particular reason. It isn’t because of lack of interest – quite to the contrary, I am still in love with movies. It isn’t because of lack of time – I’ve had several weekends where I had opportunity. It isn’t because the current movies don’t interest me – there are several that look like I would enjoy them. No excuse – I just haven’t made the effort to go.

But, I can say that most of the ones out now that I think I would enjoy are all ones that I think I could easily wait and see on NetFlix. And, while I still love the feeling I get from sitting in a dark theater watching a movie on that giant screen, I also find that some of the other experiences associated with going to the movies aren’t as appealing as they used to be. For instance – I used to LOVE movie theater popcorn! I believed it to be against some moral code or law to go to a movie and not have a bag of popcorn! Lately, the popcorn in movie theaters is less than desirable with a large portion (I’d go so far as to estimate 50% or so of the bag) made up of crumbs scrapped from the bottom of the bin, stale taste, and that oil they mistakenly call butter. I also find myself considering the cost more than I used to. Even with my practice of going to matinees and avoiding paying full price, it costs $7.00 to see a movie!!! And it costs more for the snacks than it does to see the movie! Case in point – yesterday, I went to Spring Lane Cinemas in Sanford to see the 4:35 showing of The King’s Speech. It cost me $7.00 to get in and $8.75 for a small popcorn (that was mostly crumbs) and a bottle of Dasani water! So — the two-hour excursion cost me $15.75!!! Outrageous!!! Luckily, the movie was worth it…..but often, I find it really wasn’t. Hence my feeling lately that I could just wait for NetFlix.

So, enough about how the experience of going to the movies is diminishing and on with the movie review:

The King’s Speech is up for, like, a gazillion Academy Awards. The previews looked good, it is based on a true story with historical interest, and has a prominent cast. So, of course, I was interested in seeing it. The critics AND Yahoo Users all rated it an A, which rarely happens — either the critics love it and most real people don’t or the critics hate it and most real people find it enjoyable. So, I decided to pay the $15.75 to spend two hours checking it out for myself.

What I got for my $15.75 was a totally enjoyable time. There are three Oscar worthy performances – Colin Firth as King George VI (nominated for Best Actor), Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue (nominated for Best Supporting Actor), and Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth (nominated for Best Supporting Actress) – and an absolute top contender for the Best Picture Oscar. I haven’t seen many of the other nominated films and performances, but I think it will be an injustice for some or all of these nominations to not be the ones to bring home the statue.

The story, if you aren’t already familiar, is of King George VI, the current Queen Elizabeth’s father, who had a life long struggle with a speech impediment – he stuttered. This was viewed as a weakness and defect that was not something a King should suffer from. Obviously, this was a huge problem when he was required to speak publicly and provide comfort and strength to his people. The movie starts before he becomes King – his father is still the reigning Monarch and upon his death, George’s brother, Edward, becomes the King of England. However, Edward is in love with an American divorcee currently in the process of her second divorce, which is strongly frowned upon by the Church and English Government. So, Edward abdicates the throne, leaving the role to a reluctant George. George’s devoted wife, Elizabeth, finds an unconventional speech therapist to work with George – Lionel Logue. The two work together so George can overcome his stuttering and become close friends.

It is a touching story and, even without the historical interest, conveys an important message. I found it to be a powerful movie with strong performances portraying endearing relationships – George and Elizabeth, George and Lionel, and George and his daughters, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. I highly recommend this movie and rate it a solid A+!

On another note – after the movie, I went to Cafe 121 for dinner and had Chef Hamm’s special for the evening – Shrimp and Scallop Scampi!!! YUM!!! The only thing that would have made it better would be to toss in some angel hair pasta….then it would have been beyond perfect! I took home a hot Caramel Apple Cider to sip through the rest of the evening. A perfect end to a very nice outing.

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