Alot of people tend to be put off a film by any "Oscar buzz" that surrounds it - if it's up for a golden statue then it'll be hard-going or serious as hell. Time to change all those preconceptions then...
It is said that there are only 7 real stories in the world and everything is a variation of one of them. "The King's Speech" could well have you thinking that there is some familiar ground being trodden during its 2 hours running time - a main character has to overcome their fear of some large event/competition and with the help of someone wise, and of course themselves, they will step up and meet it head on. Yes, it's been done before, but rarely in such a bloody enjoyable and smile-inducing way!
At heart a strange-because-it's-true bro-mance, this is an utter delight from start to finish. Firth (whisper it, Best Actor nomination) nails the man who feels that he is just that - a man and not worthy nor able to be a King - and is the perfect chalk to Rush's cheese - an unqualified Australian who wants to treat the man and his problem and not the status or the baggage that comes with it.
The chemistry between the two is engaging to the point that their obligatory falling out is genuinely upsetting and not some Hollywood script writers plot point to create a low before the high. When Rush allows Firth to put some glue on a toy model airplane - something he was never allowed to do as a child Prince growing up - as a thank you disguised as a treat, the bond and affection is so tangible between the two polar opposites that you could almost taste it.
The men don't get it all their way however. Bonham Carter as the young Queen Mum to-be is quite the little scene-stealer, whether it's stating how fun it is to sit on her husbands chest during speech exercises to telling Rush's wife that its "Ma'am" as in ham, not Ma'am as in palm" upon their first meeting.
A beautifully crafted crowd-pleasing movie, don't be put off by your thoughts of stuffy period drama and such. If you miss this you'll definitely be shouting "F... F... Fornication!" to yourself.
UK release date: 07/01/11