#222: The King’s Speech (2010)

When and how did I watch this?

September 27th, 2015, on a friend’s Plex account.

Had I seen this film already?

No.

What did I know about the movie before watching it?

I was looking forward to watching this one, although I discovered that Colin Firth is the main dude, who I don’t really care for as an actor.  Probably a sweet guy, but I can’t shake Bridget Jones’ Diary guy from my recollection of his acting abilities.  I know that’s not fair, but that’s where I stood.

What do I know about it now?

It’s a provocative film set just before — you guessed it — World War II, but unlike this film’s predecessor on the list, we weren’t distracted from the story, the man himself, the Duke and eventual king of Britain. We felt the weight of the world of his shoulders alongside him, the tension of every hesitation and awkward phrase. We learn that sometimes people just need someone to listen to them, and that it could make a world of difference. Everyone was spot on, acting-wise. Geoffrey Rush (you might know him as Captain Barbossa) is a refreshing and enjoyable screen presence and props up Firth very nicely.

What are some themes in the film?

Listening, conventions and social norms, justice, perseverance/bravery, the inner workings of monarchy

Did this affect me personally?

Yes.  I struggle with public speaking and social affairs as well. The persistence of both the characters Lionel and King George, along with some excellent screenwriting, revived some self-confidence issues, I confess, and reminded me that I have something to say, and people around me that are willing to listen.

Why is this ranked #222?

Certainly, winning an Oscar for Best Picture boosts this above others.  I believe others identify with this film as well, and I would expect many that have seen it felt the way I did.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She loved it.

Would I watch it again?

If I need to do some public speaking, I know what I need to watch beforehand.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

Once again, I’m probably among the last of my peers to see this one, but yes, I’d certainly recommend it to others who haven’t.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

Indeed.  Its unique approach to an environment typically portrayed as stuffy and hierarchical helped break some conventions and tell a story, avoided cliches and even managed to make us laugh. It didn’t depend on action sequences, quirky scenes or overacting.  In fact, it was quite simple, and often times that’s the best approach.

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