Essay: Favorite Movie of 2010

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King's Speech

Favorite movie 2010

A review of my favorite movie of 2010: The King's Speech

A review of my favorite movie of 2010: The King's Speech

I saw the King's Speech because of the positive 'buzz' it had generated in the press. Like many film buffs I enjoy seeing the likely Oscar-winners in the theater. I was expecting a rather staid, well-acted British drama but many aspects of the film resonated with me on a much deeper level. I found the film unexpectedly powerful. The film chronicles the struggles of the future King George VI to rid himself of a debilitating stammer, after his brother unexpectedly abdicates the throne to marry a commoner and a divorcee. Although I do not stammer like Bertie I have had a lifelong fear of speaking in public. The idea of suddenly being thrust upon the world stage and having to speak to an entire country to mobilize the nation in an anti-war effort made me pity Bertie, an emotion which I did not think I would feel for someone who was born to such privileged circumstances. I also identified with the fact that Bertie had often been made to feel inferior to his older and more charismatic brother King Edward VIII, even though Edward was much more selfish than Bertie.

The New York Times criticized the film for not satirizing the British caste system and being insufficiently critical of the monarchy: "The King's Speech takes a relatively benign view of the monarchy, framing Albert as a somewhat poor little rich boy condemned to live in a fishbowl… the royals' problems are largely personal, embodied by King George playing the stern 19th-century patriarch to Logue's touchy-feely Freudian father" (Dargis 2010). But this criticism seems unfair and one-sided to me. The film is equally candid about the fact that Bertie's speech therapist, Lionel Logue is not perfect. Logue is a failed actor and takes a very dim view of the British monarchy. Lionel must go on an emotional journey himself to teach Bertie, as he gradually embraces his pupil's strengths while correcting his deficits. One of the aspects of the film that I… [END OF PREVIEW]

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