We finally saw The King’s Speech yesterday and, along with all the other commoners, we were shouting Huzzah and waving the Union Jack at the end. I hope it wins all the Oscar cagegories, because it’s brilliant, and also because it’s the only Oscar contender I’ve seen so far this year.
Some observations from yesterday’s experience:
People dressed so much better back in the old days. The royals, of course, always look spiffy, and I recognize that it must be a terrible drag to have to look elegant every minute of every day, but even the regular folk were dressed nicely. How refreshing to enter a world in which not a single person is wearing sweatpants that say PINK on the behind, or sloppy Daytona Beach T-shirts. All the earrings were in the earlobes, small tasteful diamond drops and such, no barbells through the eyebrows or studs through the tongue. It made me nostalgic for an era before my time.
I am now even more curious about Wallis Simpson. What exactly was her secret Shanghai trick?
An older woman behind us in the theater was one of those moviegoers who emotes audibly. When the Duke of Windsor mocked his brother’s stammer, she gasped in outrage. When happy moments occured, she chuckled. She moaned, she cried, she made comments along the lines of “What did he say?” It was a a bit distracting but also kind of sweet. I can say that because this is probably the only movie I’ll ever watch with this particular woman – not so for her long-suffering daughter.
And finally, the plot itself. The techniques of the speech therapist were fascinating and Geoffrey Rush was endearing and fabulous. You want so much for Colin Firth to overcome his stammering. When I got home, I pulled out this book that I acquired somewhere, dated 1906, full of the kind of fusty and preposterous advice that London doctors were dispensing at the time.
Some poor soul had taken all the exercises to heart and marked up his book accordingly. I picture him practicing for years, and I only hope these exercises actually did some good.