Hype: Justified

In ten years, when I’m an older, fatter, balder, more bitter version of myself, I’ll be shaking my fist at some of 2020’s “it” movies and saying “You punk kids!  I remember The King’s Speech!”

I thought this looked like one of those classic Oscar movies that nobody actually sees and isn’t actually entertaining (think Gosford Park).  I know a lot of people who felt that way.  But then I noticed one day that it was playing at Cobble Hill Cinemas, and I always like an excuse to hang around that neighborhood.  Plus my boy The Gentleman Ghost was in town and we needed a low-key hang in preparation for a wild hang planned for the following night.  So we sallied forth, although neither of us were excited about it.  We almost opted instead for IP Man 2, despite the fact that neither of us had seen IP Man 1

If you’ve seen it, you already know.  The King’s Speech isn’t pretentious Oscar tripe.  Far from it.  This is a movie without a weakness.  The acting is great, the plot is surprisingly interesting, and director Tom Hooper uses both cinematography and score to marvelous effect.  Hooper really did a great job with this.  I’m not surprised he won best director.

I’m not surprised by any of the Oscars this movie won.  Personally, I liked Inception much better.  But The King’s Speech really was flawless.  I can’t think of anything negative to say about it.  Acting: excellent.  Directing: excellent.  Well written.  Costumes, look, feel, sound, all that stuff was great.  This was a really, really good movie. 

What’s unfortunate is that I probably won’t see it again for a long time.  This is not a movie you buy and watch regularly, and it’s probably too good to jump right to the movie channels.  And even if it does, is this something you’re going to sit around for 2 hours and watch again?   I don’t know, that probably sounds negative.  It isn’t meant to be.  But I don’t watch Schindler’s List regularly either, and its one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.  I feel like thats a good comp for The King’s Speech, actually.  Really, really good, but something you see once and basically move on.  I mean, I guess I’d watch either again.  Maybe I have seen Schindler’s List a few times now that I think of it.  I’m reaching here.  Gotta love a good comp though, right?

Here’s something: I thought Geoffrey Rush was better than Colin Firth.  They were both very good obviously, and normally I’d much prefer Firth.  He’s an actor you can set your watch too.  I’ve always found Rush irritating.  Thinking about his real life in particular is horrifying to me.  Those oozy movements and faces are like something out of a nightmare thats undeniably scary, but you don’t know exactly why.  Suffice it to say that in my life, I have not been a Rush guy (and god knows I wanted to like Shine).

This was the part he was born to play.  In my stoney opinion, he was perfect for Lional Logue.  And maybe there are other parts he’s perfect for that I haven’t seen.  Maybe his particular brand of perversion just works for certain roles.  He’s obviously pretty talented.  Regardless, I felt he was the straw that stirred the King’s Speech cocktail.  Firth was good, just like he always is.  But wasn’t his character kind of a one-trick pony?  I mean, he stuttered.  All the time.  I don’t know how hard it would really be to mimic that.  Great job, could’ve been done by other men.  Lional Logue was all Rush.  He stole the show. 

Helena Bonham-Carter was great too, but I think I’m bored with her.  Seems like she turns up an awful lot these days.  I liked it better when she was only sort of in the public consciousness.  Her mystique would be much better served if she did less.  I guess maybe she’s moved beyond caring about that sort of thing, if she ever did.  Can’t say that I blame her.  Make movies, get paid.  She’s definitely a good actress.  But lest ye forget, she was in Terminator: Salvation.  I think we should all keep that in mind.

What I really took away from The King’s Speech was the pleasant knowledge that there could be a new legit director on the block.  Tom Hooper isn’t even 40 yet and he made this.  Respect.  He also directed the Sam Adams HBO series.  That was probably good, right?  Seems like I heard good things.  Or maybe read them.  Possibly just assumed them.  Either way, I’m following Hooper now.  

So we’re in agreement, The King’s Speech was a very good movie.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m heading to the Angelika to see Even the Rain, a Spanish movie whose trailer caught my eye while I was seeing The Cumpnymin.  I think it’ll be good.  And really, who cares about the FORTY-FIVE MINUTES it’ll take me to get to the theater or the THIRTEEN DOLLARS I’ll spend on the ticket.  Sure its raining, but I’ve got my tiny broken umbrella.  And rain means fewer people in the theater.  Silver lining.

City that never sleeps baby!

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