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"The King's Speech" | A Sort of Film Review (finally) by Gary Chew

GARY CHEW/Sacramento

The thing that makes most sense in all the absurdity to apprehend in daily life, for me... is Mozart. So it makes sense that when King George VI commences to beat down his psychologically-implanted demon causing an awful stutter, director Tom Hooper cues up Mozart and lays down a little Wolfgang on the music track. Yes, I speak of "The King's Speech," the movie I've taken my time about seeing... and for that, I apologize.

Mrs. Miniver

Mrs. Miniver

Busy-ness is part of "why" I'm tardy with this film... if you care ... and the other part of it has to do with being overloaded, as a boy, seeing all the great WWII propaganda pictures that showed our stiff-upper-lipping back in the face of what was being wrought on Europe by Der Führer. "Mrs. Miniver" comes to my mind, first.

"The King's Speech" is the best movie from 2010 that I happened to have see in 2011. But, oh boy, does that make it so totally still eligible to get the Best Picture Oscar this weekend down in La La Land.

And, it should.

For me, now... it's "The King's Speech" as picture number one... "Black Swan" at number two, "The Social Network" at number three ... and other films slipping one place down the totem pole.

What hit my blind side on finally getting into the conversation about "The King's Speech" is how much the surrounding world tension of the mid-30s seems so resonant with the nutso goings, on now, early in 2011.

The mike and the King

KTUL Radio studio mic

He who has a voice, especially in the mid-30s, with that new-fangled thing called radio, gets to sway masses of people. King George VI (played brilliantly by Colin Firth) was hard pressed to get himself into that league, what with the likes of Adolf Hitler on- the-stalk to become the world's totalitizer (if that's a word).

Watching "The King's Speech," all of us are pulling for King George and his speech therapist, the feisty but humanizing commoner and (OMG) so-so, part-time actor, Lionel Logue. Geoffrey Rush is simply perfect as Lionel. Yes, I say: all of us... whatever our current personal politics are... want the King of England to get his speech act together.

"The King's Speech" is cinematic art... .like "No Country For Old Men" is a terrific filmic work. However, "The King's Speech" uplifts a crowd to positively meet a challenge. And man, can I remember, as a boy, having that feeling when I was watching all those black and white WWII "Mrs. Minivers" that came along to remind us how important what we were doing... really was.

"The King's Speech" is such a good movie that, even if it doesn't win important statues made in Hollywood, everyone who's pulling for it, will be pleased, anyway, because they know they've picked a winner.

Geoffrey Rush Helena Bonham Carter

Geoffrey Rush

Helena Bonham Carter

I salute director, Tom Hooper, David Seidler (who wrote the script) and the cast: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Derek Jacobi, Michael Gambon, Timothy Spall, Guy Pearce and all the other people in front of, and behind the camera making this superb film. And special notice should be given of Claire Bloom, who plays Queen Mary. I haven't seen Ms. Bloom on the big screen in a long time.

Along with newsreels, radio was the technological imperative to contend with, and master in the late 20s and 30s. Now, it's so much different and so much more... and we all know why. Yes, technology, especially in its electronic forms, is turning the world upside down, now.

Knowing what parts of this abstract construct that so much flows through---in terms of what informs and that which merely exploits, titillates and gins-up those who receive it---is a challenge to all who really care to understand their surroundings; maybe even more than the one George VI faced defeating his stutter demon. Serious artists, journalists and educators meet that challenge when they give understanding their highest priority.

Seeing "The King's Speech," in its less-than-modern way, shines its simple, direct light on the early beginnings of a technological wave that has, now, become a tsunami at the cable box as well as, above us, in the ether.

Maybe a little Mozart would clear things up.

"The King's Speech" official site. Now in release.

See Yahoo Movies-Tulsa for theaters and times.

Gary Chew can be reached at garychew@comcast.net,
Facebook.com/justin.playfair and Twitter.com/orwellingly.

Copyright © 2011, Gary Chew. All rights reserved.

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