Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Kristen Stewart Is First American Actress Nominated for César Awards in 30 Years; 'Saint Laurent' Leads with Ten Kristen Stewart Is First American Actress Nominated for César Awards in 30 Years; 'Saint Laurent' Leads with Ten How They Sustained the Times Square Momentum in 'Birdman' VIDEO How They Sustained the Times Square Momentum in 'Birdman' VIDEO 6 Things to Know About Sexy Sundance Breakout 'Diary of a Teenage Girl,' Part of Sundance's Women's New Wave 6 Things to Know About Sexy Sundance Breakout 'Diary of a Teenage Girl,' Part of Sundance's Women's New Wave Sundance Raves About Ewan McGregor as Jesus and the Devil in 'Last Days in the Desert' Sundance Raves About Ewan McGregor as Jesus and the Devil in 'Last Days in the Desert' Watch: Jason Segel on Playing David Foster Wallace in Sundance's 'End of the Tour' (Exclusive Interview) Watch: Jason Segel on Playing David Foster Wallace in Sundance's 'End of the Tour' (Exclusive Interview) Filmmakers, Give Us Your Numbers! Sundance and Cinereach Unveil The Transparency Project Filmmakers, Give Us Your Numbers! Sundance and Cinereach Unveil The Transparency Project Sundance Market Explodes with 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' and 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' Sundance Market Explodes with 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' and 'Diary of a Teenage Girl' Top Ten Takeaways: Polarizing 'American Sniper' Speeds Past $200 Million; Lopez Trounces Depp Top Ten Takeaways: Polarizing 'American Sniper' Speeds Past $200 Million; Lopez Trounces Depp Arthouse Audit: Panic Time? 'Mommy,' 'Red Army,' 'Black Sea,' 'Cake,' 'Duke of Burgundy' All Disappoint Arthouse Audit: Panic Time? 'Mommy,' 'Red Army,' 'Black Sea,' 'Cake,' 'Duke of Burgundy' All Disappoint 2015 PGA Winners: 'Birdman' Steals 'Boyhood''s Awards Season Thunder 2015 PGA Winners: 'Birdman' Steals 'Boyhood''s Awards Season Thunder Watch: Nicole Kidman Talks 'Strangerland' at Sundance (Exclusive Video Interview) Watch: Nicole Kidman Talks 'Strangerland' at Sundance (Exclusive Video Interview) Sundance Acquisitions Market Heats Up with 'The Bronze' and 
'The Witch' Sundance Acquisitions Market Heats Up with 'The Bronze' and 'The Witch' Sundance: Netflix Inks Four-Picture Deal with Duplass Brothers Sundance: Netflix Inks Four-Picture Deal with Duplass Brothers Early Reviews Portend Sundance Breakout in Stylish Historical Horror 'The Witch' Early Reviews Portend Sundance Breakout in Stylish Historical Horror 'The Witch' Sundance: 5 Things to Expect From Alex Gibney's Damning Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Sundance: 5 Things to Expect From Alex Gibney's Damning Scientology Doc 'Going Clear' Martin Scorsese Breaks Long-Awaited 'Silence,' Set to Begin Filming This Month Martin Scorsese Breaks Long-Awaited 'Silence,' Set to Begin Filming This Month Watch: Meet the Women of 'Birdman' (Exclusive 4-Minute Featurette) Watch: Meet the Women of 'Birdman' (Exclusive 4-Minute Featurette) Watch: Hitchcock's Thwarted Holocaust Documentary Comes to HBO Watch: Hitchcock's Thwarted Holocaust Documentary Comes to HBO Best Actor Oscar Predictions 2015 UPDATED Best Actor Oscar Predictions 2015 UPDATED Oscar Predictions 2015 Oscar Predictions 2015

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