Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Berlin Review: Could 'War on Everyone' Be the Best Bad Cop Comedy Ever? Berlin Review: Could 'War on Everyone' Be the Best Bad Cop Comedy Ever? Berlin Review: With 'Midnight Special,' Jeff Nichols Offers Up a Very Special Sci-Fi Thriller Berlin Review: With 'Midnight Special,' Jeff Nichols Offers Up a Very Special Sci-Fi Thriller How They Designed the Characters and Sounds for the Oscar-Nominated 'Mad Max: Fury Road' How They Designed the Characters and Sounds for the Oscar-Nominated 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Meryl Streep to Fund The Writers Lab, Supporting Women Screenwriters Over 40 (EXCLUSIVE) Meryl Streep to Fund The Writers Lab, Supporting Women Screenwriters Over 40 (EXCLUSIVE) Oscar Predictions 2016 Oscar Predictions 2016 Roger Deakins on Shooting Hollywood From the Inside Out in 'Hail, Caesar!' (Video) Roger Deakins on Shooting Hollywood From the Inside Out in 'Hail, Caesar!' (Video) A Letter to Michael B. Jordan A Letter to Michael B. Jordan Bona Fide Acquires Movie Rights to Knausgaard New York Times Series 'My Saga' for Alexander Payne (EXCLUSIVE) Bona Fide Acquires Movie Rights to Knausgaard New York Times Series 'My Saga' for Alexander Payne (EXCLUSIVE) WATCH: 9 Oscar-Nominated Screenwriters on How They Got Their Start, Their Writing Process, and Much More WATCH: 9 Oscar-Nominated Screenwriters on How They Got Their Start, Their Writing Process, and Much More Inside the Oscar Nominees Lunch Inside the Oscar Nominees Lunch How John Ridley and Company Create the Emotional Resonance of 'American Crime' How John Ridley and Company Create the Emotional Resonance of 'American Crime' Top 10 Takeaways:  'Hail, Caesar!' Leads Three New Releases—Which Barely Total $20 Million Top 10 Takeaways: 'Hail, Caesar!' Leads Three New Releases—Which Barely Total $20 Million 'Deadpool' Review & Roundup: Ryan Reynolds Finds a Franchise Worthy of His Talents 'Deadpool' Review & Roundup: Ryan Reynolds Finds a Franchise Worthy of His Talents Arthouse Audit: 'The Club' and 'Rams' Reveal Weakness in Subtitled Film Market Arthouse Audit: 'The Club' and 'Rams' Reveal Weakness in Subtitled Film Market Inside the Directors Guild Awards Inside the Directors Guild Awards Joel & Ethan Coen Crack Each Other Up, And Me, Talking About 'Hail, Caesar!' Joel & Ethan Coen Crack Each Other Up, And Me, Talking About 'Hail, Caesar!' WATCH: Oscar Nominee Tom Hardy Explains Why Shooting 'The Revenant' Was So Bloody Hard (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) WATCH: Oscar Nominee Tom Hardy Explains Why Shooting 'The Revenant' Was So Bloody Hard (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) How They Created the Bear VFX for the Mauling of Leonardo DiCaprio in 'The Revenant' How They Created the Bear VFX for the Mauling of Leonardo DiCaprio in 'The Revenant' How Quentin Tarantino Resurrected Ultra Panavision 70 for 'The Hateful Eight' How Quentin Tarantino Resurrected Ultra Panavision 70 for 'The Hateful Eight' What Happened to Scorsese's $70-Million Short 'The Audition' Starring DiCaprio, De Niro and Pitt? What Happened to Scorsese's $70-Million Short 'The Audition' Starring DiCaprio, De Niro and Pitt?

Telluride Review: The King's Speech Heads for Oscars

Thompson on Hollywood By Tim Appelo | Thompson on Hollywood September 5, 2010 at 2:50AM

Critic Tim Appelo reports from Telluride that The King's Speech is a serious Oscar contender. Buck Henry likened the Telluride Film Festival to Valhalla, the place where cinema’s great warriors go for eternal glory – say, tonight’s tribute honoree Claudia Cardinale. But Valhalla is Old Norse for “Hall of the Slain,” and Telluride is more like the Hall of the Newborns, a ward for indie gods getting their first worship. Is there a springier springboard to the Oscars than the Telluride Film Festival?
1
Thompson on Hollywood

Critic Tim Appelo reports from Telluride that The King's Speech is a serious Oscar contender.

Buck Henry likened the Telluride Film Festival to Valhalla, the place where cinema’s great warriors go for eternal glory – say, tonight’s tribute honoree Claudia Cardinale. But Valhalla is Old Norse for “Hall of the Slain,” and Telluride is more like the Hall of the Newborns, a ward for indie gods getting their first worship. Is there a springier springboard to the Oscars than the Telluride Film Festival?


The big worship winner and potential Oscar magnet I’ve seen so far at Telluride 2010 is the world premiere of Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech, with Colin Firth as Bertie, King George VI of England, and Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue, the Australian speech coach/de facto shrink tasked with curing Bertie’s crippling stutter. There’s more at stake than pride, since Hitler is taking over Europe, and as the King tells his little daughter Elizabeth when she asks what Hitler is saying in his radio speech, “I don’t know, but he seems to be saying it rather well.”

Everything rides on the King’s big speech to rally half the planet to the Allied cause, and David Seidler’s script relentlessly rachets up the tension while expertly sketching characters in a stroke and keeping the Telluride audience in stitches. “Today we felt like we were in a Noel Coward play,” said Rush after the standing ovation died down.

It’s a ripping yarn ripped right out of the headlines (and out of the speech coach’s diary, fortuitously discovered nine days before filming began). Firth and Rush are geniuses who raise each other’s game – their first scene together, shot on their first day, is as good in its veddy Brit/Aussie way as the Dennis Hopper/Christopher Walken acting duel in True Romance. The King’s Speech is the true bromance of the year, as winning a film about royals as anything starring Helen Mirren.

History helped by providing a terrific foil for Bertie, his vile, Hitler-fancying big brother Edward VIII (an impeccably oily Guy Pearce), who had to abdicate because he insisted on marrying his mattressback American mistress, double-divorcee Wallis Simpson, who gets 17 carnations a day from von Ribbentrop. Michael Gambon is great as Bertie’s crushing dad (whose idea of speech coaching is shouting, “RELAX!!”) and Helena Bonham Carter as his amused but sympathetic wife. Carter—she’s not a woman, she’s a time machine, catapulting you back to an epoch when people knew how to live, and had the cash and style to do it.

The King’s Speech has style to burn, and wit, and resonant emotion. Long may it reign.

Here's an A.P. print and video interview with Colin Firth:

This article is related to: Festivals, Awards, Genres, Independents, Reviews, Oscars, Telluride, Period, Biopics, Weinsteins


E-Mail Updates






Festivals on TOH



Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.