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So I saw The King's Speech
Not that I have particularly Deep Thoughts, but I know people have wanted to talk about it.

1) This film is rated R for one scene where (as most of you know, because the rest of the world saw it before I did) the Duke of York/future King of England/"Bertie" has a minor meltdown and his speech therapist goads him into shouting every curse word he can think of. Seriously. That is why the entire movie is rated R. There is no sex, no nudity, no violence. Possibly Colin Firth throws something, maybe. It is rated R because the MPAA has an arbitrary rule that you can get away with up to four non-sexual uses of "fuck" ("Fuck you") in a PG-13 movie; as I understand it, one sexual use ("I want to fuck you") takes you straight to R, except that I recall Clint Eastwood talking about persuading them to give The Bridges of Madison County a PG-13 anyway. So we've got a decorous British period piece about a king overcoming a physically and emotionally painful childhood, deep insecurity, and the speech impediment that has overshadowed his entire life, and because he happens to yell "SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK tits," we go straight to R. CAN'T LET THE KIDS SEE A MOVIE ABOUT OVERCOMING ADVERSITY, MIGHT CORRUPT 'EM. Meanwhile, kids are texting each other worse shit than that.

2) I don't think I'm going to be afraid of public speaking ever again. 

3) Nobody had told me how fantastic Guy Pearce is in this. He really, really is. I felt really bad for laughing when they're at the king's deathbed and he flings himself on Queen Mary's shoulder--it was one of those moments where you kind of snorfle, but no one else makes a sound, and you're like, well now I'm an ass. But then Colin Firth is all like, "Seriously, what WAS that?," and I was like, oh, THANK GOD, that was supposed to be drama queenery (kingery? abdicating Duke of Windsory?). I spent all of Guy Pearce's scenes delighted by how thoroughly I wanted to punch him in the head.

4) That said, I am pretty sure Colin Firth should win an Oscar just for singing about his nanny abusing him to the tune of "Camptown Races" and not making it ridiculous. If you can pull that off, you win. This is not even to speak of stammering in a different accent--that very particular royal accent--and making it sound natural. Yeah. I see why he's the front-runner now.

4) "You had such a beautiful stammer that I was sure they'd leave us alone." Awwww. ilu, Helena Bonham Carter.

5) It did not occur to me until later why it would be particularly funny for Jennifer Ehle to go into shock upon discovering Colin Firth in her house.

6) You know, Alexandre Desplat composes beautiful scores, but I just don't know that directors always know how to use them. This is the second Desplat score I've heard where I just wanted someone to TURN IT DOWN at key moments so I could focus on what people were saying. But other movies he's done, I didn't have that problem--David Yates actually made really good use of silence in Deathly Hallows in addition to the Desplat score--so I don't think that it's him per se.

7) Speaking of the director, a lot of the camera angles seemed really weird to me. I mean, I know that was done on purpose--the camera tilted or off-kilter or looming over the actors, like Tom Hooper was doing it to emphasize the Duke/King's unease, panic, insecurity, and so on. That is to say, I think I know what he was trying to do, but the shot often seemed a fraction of an inch "off" in some painterly way I can't put my finger on. Like, do the same thing, but tilt/angle/move it over a squidge, and you might have achieved the same psychological effect more, uh, effectively. I don't know if I'm hallucinating this or what.

(I thought about not mentioning anything critical at all, but it seemed--I don't know, dishonest or cowardly not to say something I really think just because I know how much people love this movie. I really liked it, too.)

8) "I'm told that the wallpaper is really the star of this movie," said one of the friends I went to see it with. It really is lovely wallpaper.

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The MPAA rating for this movie is indeed RIDICULOUS.

I didn't recognize Jennifer Ehle until nearly the end.

...stammering in a different accent--that very particular royal accent--and making it sound natural.
Colin Firth was amaaaaaaaaaazing in this role. That accent is so unlike all the accents I've heard him use before, and he was utterly convincing as he used it.

I realized how amazing it was once I picked up the way he was turning Rs into Ws or something--and that it wasn't part of the speech impediment.

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I spent all of Guy Pearce's scenes delighted by how thoroughly I wanted to punch him in the head.

My thoughts exactly! Well, I was okay with him- he was snivelly and irresponsible, but not actively hateable- up until the scene where Bertie confronted him about his lack of responsibility and he started mocking his stutter, and then I was like "HA HA, YOU'RE GOING TO BECOME A MISERABLE ALCOHILIC AND DIE." It was one of those times where I felt no shame in laughing at someone else's misfortune. Is Pearce's role big enough to get a Best Supporting Actor nomination?

It's weird- there are so many things about the whole monarchial system I disagre with, and some of the family's criticism of Wallis felt extremely class-based ("how dare she make decisions about the property! She's not one of us.") but the movie had me rooting wholeheartedly for the monarchy. Good on you, movie.

Oh, people have WON for much less screen time.

It did not occur to me until later why it would be particularly funny for Jennifer Ehle to go into shock upon discovering Colin Firth in her house.

Ahahaha it didn't even occur to me until you said that.

I loved that movie. Tits!

I think they were involved IRL for a while, too.

I have got to see this movie!

This was one of my new favourite movies. It was just that damn good.

It's on my Top 10 of All Time list! Which is really saying something, because most of my favorites are classics from way back when.

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If Colin Firth doesn't win the Oscar, I will cry.

Also, I have tremendous respect for this movie for making me like Helena Bonham Carter, I usually can't stand her (which does make her an excellent choice for Bellatrix).

I, as a student of theatrical speech, found all of the vocal work fascinating and delightfully familiar, but really, I just loved it all together.

I love how he makes it not about the stammer, but about the person "behind" it. Also, I want Guy Pearce to get a Supporting Actor nomination. Also: I did not recognize Jennifer Ehle! I must tell my Austen professor (she came into class with an advertisement and said, "Look! Mr. Darcy is in a new movie!" It was hilarious.)

The Dude Who Abdicated, was, I feel, always a bit of a grandstanding ass.

And Colin Firth was indeed magnificent. (Not that he isn't usually, but he really surprised me into rooting for him.) ♥

What with this and The Young Victoria, the royal PR people must be happy as clams.

happy as clams

...are clams really the happiest creature? I have often wondered how they managed to merit this distinction.

Glad you got to see it and enjoyed it! Now I'm thinking someone needs to make a Guy Pearce icon with "DRAMA QUEENERY" on it. :D

And yes, Firth for the Oscar! (And Firth + Ehle = Awesome!!)

I have had literally no emotions about Wallis Simpson ever until HB(i)C. She's cutting down the trees? Ooh, I hate her, too!

HUNDRED-YEAR-OLD trees. I didn't even know they would let you do that. Well, I guess if you're Edward VIII's not-queen, they do. GET OUT, is what I'm saying.

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Jennifer Ehle - odd RL moment.

Derek Jacobi - best in-joke casting EVAR.

The King's Speech wins in simply every single way there is to win. Rush has the less showy role, but is just sublime. Colin Firth is out of this FUCKING world. Do you know who the director wanted first? (Firth was the THIRD choice) -- First Paul Bettany, and then Hugh Grant.


Guy Pearce -- awesome performance.

Wallis Simpson -- HAAAAAAAAAAAATE (also she and David were total Fascists and hung out with Hitler -- no lie.)

In conclusion -- no one can touch Firth for the Oscar. No one's even close.

(I, uh, might have a copy of the SAG screener. Just sayin'.)

Hugh Grant? HUGH "One Note, and It's Not Even an Interesting Note" GRANT came close to getting that role??

There is a God.

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Email me. tzikeh blah thechicagoloop blah net.


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Re: sexual vs. non sexual use of an overused meaningless word

I've always thought of "fuck you" as being a more profane version of "go to hell," and thus a more abstract meaning.

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I am never going to be able to hear Camptown Races the same way again. Seriously, someone just give Colin Firth his Oscar right now. Jesse Eisenberg was great in all but COLIN FUCKING FIRTH MAN. He just gets more and more attractive/awesome.

I nearly flipped out when Jennifer Ehle had a scene with him. The only actor I couldn't suspend my knowledge of their previous roles with was Timothy Spall as Churchill. I was all WTF IS PETTIGREW DOING AS CHURCHILL???

I AM SO GLAD I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE. I kept nearly laughing at Churchill-as-rat-man. Terrible, I know.

I'm so pissed about this movie's rating, but the MPAA rules are fucked up in general.

I spent all of Guy Pearce's scenes delighted by how thoroughly I wanted to punch him in the head.


I was so surprised to see several of the actors in the movie, including Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon, and Derek Jacobi. A bunch of people laughed when Timothy Spall appeared for the first time.

And yes, Colin Firth should win the Oscar. :D :D :D

I thought the film was really beautiful and both Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush blew me away with their amazing badassery of acting skills (as they usually do). They both absolutely deserve to win Oscars (I assume in Best Actor/Best Supporting?). And I agree with basically every other point you make here - Helena was lovely, Guy Pearce made me want to bash his head against the wall (same for Wallis - such a pretentious social-climbing bitch), and all the rest of the supporting cast was brilliant. Some of the directing and score was off-putting to me, too, but the cast always made up for it.

AND WTF MPAA?!?! I READ MORE USES OF THOSE WORDS EVERY DAY ON THE INTERNET. There was no reason - none - that this movie should have been rated R. He wasn't even using the words at anyone in any way. If intent is what matters, all that was was an outburst string of words in a moment of frustration. They're just tiny little words all the kids know and use as it is, whether we like it or not.

Meanwhile, it's a gorgeous film without gratuitous sex or violence (which they allow into PG13 films all the time), that actually means something. The message of the movie is inspiring and uplifting, and no audience should be closed off from that due to some stupid rating.

I adored this movie. Colin Firth's performance was incredible, as was . . . well, everyone else's. Even the extras. HBC was gorgeous as Elizabeth - so controlled and understated - and filming it on weekends while being Bellatrix during the week. Talk about your mood swings. Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon, Jennifer Ehle, Derek Jacobi - even Timothy Spall. And Geoffrey Rush - I hope he gets another Oscar out of this one. At least a nomination.

The loud music underneath the actual speech (loved the dual meaning of "The King's Speech" - the one he gives, plus the fact that he has a speech impediment, btw) is actually the second movement of Beethoven's 7th and not Desplat.

That wasn't even when I had a problem with the music, actually. It was during actual dialogue.

That said, I am pretty sure Colin Firth should win an Oscar just for singing about his nanny abusing him to the tune of "Camptown Races" and not making it ridiculous.

The part where he sings "And then she wouldn't feed me" to the tune of Swannee River... I could NOT get that out of my head the entire day after I saw it, and every time, it just killed me.

I also sort of wish I hadn't realized during the movie where I knew Timothy Spall from, because the only things I've ever seen him in are the Harry Potter movies, and once I realized that, all I could think to myself was, "Wormtail, stop impersonating Winston Churchill."

(Edited for unintentional icon shenanigans.)

Edited at 2011-01-24 03:11 am (UTC)

"Wormtail, stop impersonating Winston Churchill."

this just made me literally lol, because i thought EXACTLY the same thing. i was like -- stop it, you cannot be a wartime prime minister! go lick someone's boots!

Yes, Guy Pearce was fantastic! It was nice to see him, too, as he seemed to disappear for awhile there. I was glad to see less romanticized versions of Edward and Wallis. I mean, it is romantic, abdicating the throne for the woman you love. But they were both rather unpleasant people in a lot of ways.

They were very unpleasant people, which is why I'm displeased Madonna is making a movie about how wonderful and misunderstood Wallis was.

If you haven't seen "This Film is Not Yet Rated," it's a great documentary about the MPAA and the ratings board. It's pretty crazy how that board operates in almost total secrecy, and people don't seem to realize what a huge deal it is for a movie to get a specific rating. The difference in revenue between a PG-13 and an R or an R and an NC-17 could potentially be millions of dollars.

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I'm not sure it had an R rating here in Australia - or, if it did, I didn't notice. But I'm pretty sure it didn't. *shrug* I mean, us Aussies aren't afraid of a bit (or a lot, if it comes to that) of swearing! Strange... *ponders*

I loved this movie!! :D I picked out Jennifer Ehle pretty much straight away - does that mean I've seen BBC's Pride And Prejudice too many times? ;)

Just checked Hoyts, it's M for coarse language. An R rating seems all out of kilter with the rest of the movie :/.

The Rite has received a PG-13 rating. I would have been scarred for life if I encountered this movie when I was 13, probably requiring professional help.

You should watch This Film Is Not Yet Rated. (Available instantly on Netflix.

"The Rite has received a PG-13 rating. I would have been scarred for life if I encountered this movie when I was 13, probably requiring professional help."

Same here.

That is to say, I think I know what he was trying to do


This movie was brilliantly written and acted, but all of the technical stuff, especially the sets, were DEFINITELY not up to the caliber of the performances in the movie.

I'm a scenic artist (which means I'm the lady paintin' the sets on films) and while I loved the King's Speech I was so very pissed off at the sets. They used only three real locations and I could so tell. Especially all of the spaces for Logue, both his houses and his office. I get what the production designer was trying to do (Logue is so very very loud and gauche, forcing Bertie out of his comfort zones) but I WAS SO DISTRACTED by all of the noise in his spaces (the wallpaper, the walls, etc...) It kept throwing me straight out of the movie.

And don't get me started on the crappy scenic painting. It's something that would only bother me, but wallpaper is not supposed to shine like a high gloss paint, DAMN IT, and I'm not supposed to see all the spackle patches.

Oh, thank God, I feel less alone now. Like, since we're on the wallpaper--it really should not have been upstaging people in the closeups. And I liked the closeups where you'd have an actor on one side and the wallpaper on the other. But the actor would be on the wrong (IMO) side of the screen--say, on the far right side, looking further to the right, which drags your eyes off the screen.

And at one point--I know you must have caught this--I think it's when they're inside the cathedral and it's a wide-ish interior shot, maybe of the throne itself, and the frame isn't level. You can see the carpeted steps leading up to the throne, and it's not level across the bottom of the screen, like a picture someone didn't hang right. And it doesn't seem to serve any artistic purpose; it's just off. ARGH. It was just shoddy little things like that, things in an otherwise great movie that could have been so easily fixed.

Edited at 2011-01-24 03:58 am (UTC)


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