We went to The King's Speech last night. I was looking forward to a night watching Colin Firth, but instead I was drawn into the world of Bertie, the prince who wasn't supposed to be King, the insecure stutterer, friendless and frightened, who found in a commoner a friend who believed in him.
It was a masterful performance by Colin Firth - you forgot he was even there and there certainly weren't any "Darcy-in-the-lake" moments - he was totally absorbed in the character and he made him live. I also thought Michael Gambon delivered a very assured performance as the old King George V. I have to admit I wasn't so keen on Helena Bonham Carter as Elizabeth -she was very good but not quite as good as some of the others. Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue, the elocutionist, was astonishing - light, gentle, funny, and encouraging.
It wasn't all dismal and sad though: the practice rendition of the first speech of the war had me rolling in the aisles - when the new King was practicing, he was swearing to help him relax, and he did a few words of the speech then a whole lot of "additions" - it was hysterically funny.
All in all, definitely recommended. The question isn't whether it will win an Oscar. The question is how many.