2010’s The Kings Speech picked up its fair share of awards, not least Best Picture and Best Actor in a Leading Role at the 2011 Academy awards. So it’s reasonable to say that it’s a pretty good movie. Indeed any movie that can boast Michael Gambon, Guy Pearce, Dereck Jacobi, Jennifer Ehle and Timothy Spall in relatively minor roles, (minor in the sense of screen time, as they mostly are playing personages of historical significance) is certainly aiming to be a cut above the rest.
Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter are the main attractions though and they all bring their ‘A’ game to the party. Indeed, so good is Firth that it seems incredible that he was third choice for the role.
Whether The Kings Speech is an entirely accurate portrayal of historical events is certainly debateable, but even the best biopics rarely are, and it would be churlish to hold the obvious use of creative license against a movie, which succeeds so well at all the principal facets of being a movie.
Score for Christmasishness
The title of the movie has a double meaning, being both a reference to King George VI’s speech impediment and also a specific speech that he makes. And while the main speech is definitely related to the outbreak of World War II, one of his other duties, as monarch, would be to make a Christmas Day speech. Because that is a thing that happens in the UK. We don’t ever witness George VI making a Christmas Day speech, but we do see his dad, one George V, do exactly that at around 30 minutes into the running time. Beyond that, there isn’t much to recommend The King’s Speech as a Christmas movie, except the title, which could have been referring to the annual Christmas Day speech, and shouldn’t be ignored just because it isn’t.