31 January 2011

The King's Speech

Directed by: Tom Hooper
Written by: David Seidler
Full credits at IMDb

The movie work[s] hard to make George VI seem American—or at least, sympathetic to America's awards-voting audiences. As a born and raised subject of Uncle Sam, I have a deep-seated disdain for monarchy. To help viewers like me feel sympathetic for ol' Bertie, then, the filmmakers try to posit monarchism as a form of malformed democracy. The king's foil—the casually vulgar Rush, introduced on the toilet not unlike Rooster Cogburn—cheekily—subverts the fustiness of formality, but this is a movie with great feeling for the Old English way, a deep conservatism, but also an Americanesque love of the people, for whom it is said that the King speaks—it's less like he rules the people than they rule he. (Just without those pesky elections!) After all, Edward abdicates not because he's a rule breaker, but because as a rule breaker he can no longer claim that populist mantle.

Keep reading my discussion with Benjamin Sutton at The L Magazine

Watch the trailer:

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