So you’ve never heard of The King’s Speech, the upcoming royal biopic starring Colin Firth as England’s King George VI? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most people have never heard of this historical figure who reigned from 1936 to 1952. But those who have watched The King’s Speech know what an amazing performance Firth gave. Not only is he a phenomenal actor, but he completely transformed himself into a British monarch. And for those who saw the fantastic trailers, there’s more transformation yet to come. From a commoner to a king in less than a year, Firth went from strength to strength.
Here are 10 reasons you should watch The King’s Speech.
1. It’s an incredible transformation
If you’ve never heard of The King’s Speech, then you’ve undoubtedly never seen a transformation scene quite like this one. As Firth’s character King George undergoes a shocking and unexpected personal crisis, he completely reworks himself from a commoner into a member of the House of Windsor. While there are certainly similar examples of actors taking on similar roles, there’s something about the sheer magnitude of Firth’s transformation that truly astonishes viewers. From a slightly overweight commoner to a six-foot, fully-grown man (or woman!), Firth went through an incredible array of clothes and hats to embody this different character. It’s quite an amazing sight to behold.
2. It’s historically accurate
One of the most exciting features of The King’s Speech is its historical accuracy. The movie is set in 1936, the year before George VI (George’s father) took the throne after the abdication of King George V. During that year, the public was introduced to a very ‘different’ George VI, one who was not nearly as warm as his son would become. But the filmmakers were careful to ensure that the audience felt that they were getting the whole story, without any twists or funny business. In order to give the film an authentic feel, certain events were recreated exactly as they happened. There were no CGI enhancements or shortcuts used – everything was done using actual historical footage.
3. It’s a feel-good movie
Although historical dramas can be rather serious, The King’s Speech is quite a fun movie to watch. It’s full of royal intrigue, a gorgeous British setting, and an incredible performance from one of the greatest living actors. For those who saw the film’s trailer, you already know what this movie is about. But for those who haven’t, it’s an enjoyable romp through the most tumultuous years in British history. And who doesn’t love a good rom-com?
4. It’s directed by Tom Hooper
One of the most talented and established directors in Hollywood, Tom Hooper, brings his unique brand of humor and flair to this period movie. Rather than keeping his humorous commentary to a minimum, he used his cinematic wit to great effect in the trailers and other promotional material for The King’s Speech. Besides helming some of the most memorable sports movies of all time (The King’s Speech, The Hurricane, The Dream Team), Tom Hooper has also directed some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, including The King’s Speech, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
5. It was written by Richard Loncraine
Another significant factor behind the box-office success of The King’s Speech is its screenplay, penned by Richard Loncraine. Based on William Morrow’s non-fiction book, A King’s Story, the screenplay was awarded the BAFTA Adapted Screenplay of the Year and was shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. With only two previous screenplays to his name (One of which was Clint Eastwood’s Absolute Power), Richard Loncraine is finally getting the recognition he deserves.
6. It features an all-star cast
One of the most exciting aspects of The King’s Speech is its incredible cast. Besides Firth and Morozov, the movie also stars Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, and a very unrecognizable Judi Dench. On that last point, if you’ve never heard of Judi Dench, then you’ve certainly never seen her work. She should be famous for her iconic roles in Shakespearean comedies like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and As You Like It. But fear not – she’s playing a very serious and important role in The King’s Speech. So it might be best to keep an eye out for her. Aside from being one of the greatest actresses of all time, Judi Dench is also England’s oldest actress, having been born in 1915.
7. It’s an Academy Award contender
The King’s Speech was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Actor (for Firth), Best Supporting Actor (for Carter), Best Supporting Actress (for Dench), Best Costume Design, Best Makeup, Best Hair and Makeup, and Best Original Score. It won four of these, including Best Actor, Best Makeup, and Best Original Score. It’s already proven to be one of the most successful films of 2012, and with good reason. After only being able to act in minor theater roles prior to this film, Firth delivered an incredible performance that will forever change the way we see this iconic character. It wasn’t just about the clothes – Firth actually became a different person inside. His transformation is something to behold.
8. It’s a memorable character
One of the most memorable characters in The King’s Speech is undoubtedly Bertie, played by the incomparable Firth. Before this film, Firth was mostly known for playing a straight man in comedy routines. But here, he gets to show off a whole different side of his acting talent. In the trailers and other promotional material, Firth showcased an incredible knack for mimicking accents, much to the delight of fans around the world. Since the film’s premiere, fans have been using the hashtag #Iambertie on Twitter, in tribute to this unforgettable character. If you’ve never heard of Bertie Wooster, then you’ve probably never seen Firth’s best work.
9. It’s beautifully shot
Besides being an incredible performance from one of the greatest living actors, The King’s Speech is also an incredibly well-shot movie. The cinematography is by Tom Stern, whose previous work includes The Duchess, The Holiday, and the upcoming The Huntsman: Winter’s War. Aside from being an incredible achievement for a first-time director, the attention to detail in the costumes and sets is also something to marvel at. Even things like the typewriter that Bertie Wooster uses to type up his letters to his beloved Aunt Dahlia are brought to life with such accuracy that it feels like you’re watching a play rather than a movie.
10. It’s historically important
Finally, a worthy reason to watch The King’s Speech. Other than being one of the most exciting and best-made movies of the year, this historical drama is also quite important. In order to give this film a proper introduction to a wider audience, the filmmakers decided to submit it for the 2012 Ocen Award, which is presented annually by the European Film Academy to a film that has successfully introduced a brand new audience to the intricacies of European cinema. This award is considered to be the Oscar of Europe, and it is fitting that a historical drama about a king’s quest for stardom would receive such a prestigious award. Besides being a beautifully made movie, The King’s Speech is also an important message about the perils of arrogance and vanity. It’s a timeless story about a man who craved recognition, only to find that the more he gained, the more he craved. And for that, he will always be ‘The King.’