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26 January 2011 @ 11:58 pm
The King's Speech  
Like every woman and her corgi, I've been wanting to see The King's Speech for some time. Finally managed it tonight, as my way of celebrating Australia Day -- irony is my favourite! It is every bit as good as people say.

The script in particular was wonderful. Certainly there were many nods to the modern audience, but there was also a real recognition of historical mores and concerns. The sketches of Edward and Wallis were brief but perfectly venal, while the Archbishop's sense of social order was splendidly stiff (and even more splendidly poked by Princess Elizabeth). I loved that they included the fact of Edward's popularity for a little while after the Abdication, too, which made poor stammering Bertie's life even more awkward.

The costumes are brilliant, and no one will be surprised to hear that I am now desperate for a 1930s coat and hat. The children's outfits are terrific, too, and took me straight back to my own childhood which contained an enormous numbers of pleated skirts and jumpers, when I wasn't wearing muslin embroidered hippie frocks.

As to the cast -- I loved them all. Firth and Rush are never less than engaging and I could watch the two of them for hours. The women were also terrific, especially Helena Bonham Carter and Jennifer Ehle, and bloody hell that Queen Mary was scarily accurate! The kids were delightful – Ramona Marquez is a terrific little actress, and the one who played Elizabeth was suitably grave.

I was happy to see this morning that it has attracted a long list of Oscar nominations. It is such a beautifully made film that I would love to see it awarded in every category.

However ... Apparently there is a campaign against it in Hollywood because the real George VI did not want Jewish refugees fleeing Germany for Palestine and also allegedly stopped them coming to Britain. This is a bit astonishing. On the one hand, it's a staggeringly simplistic interpretation of events: Britain at the time was only just recovering from a massive Depression and was moving onto a War footing, so it could ill-afford to bring in more than the 100,000 Jewish refugees it did take in the lead-up to the war. Similarly, Palestine was a delicately balanced state that could not absorb a massive refugee population without severe unrest (for proof of which, note the entirety of the last 70 years). This is not to say it was well done, nor that people may not have acted very differently if they could have foreseen the future, but despite having some lovely crowns, exactly none of the British Royal Family is now, nor has ever been psychic. Not even Edward.

But the thing that baffles me most about this campaign is that it wants members of the Academy to not vote for the film in any categories. Including Best Script. Which was written by a British/American Jew whose paternal grandparents were killed in the Holocaust.

I hope it sweeps the whole bloody Oscars!

PS And the decision to use real locations while hiding the modern background in fog is GENIUS!
Shezanshezan on January 26th, 2011 01:19 pm (UTC)
I suspect the campaign was inspired by a competitor...

Had you read the excellent review of the movie by Anthony Lane?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 01:21 pm (UTC)
One who has clearly never cracked open a history book.

I have not! Thanks for the link, off for a read!
drgaellon on January 26th, 2011 01:20 pm (UTC)
So, because someone doesn't like what George VI did 70 years ago, THIS film, now, today, the actors in it and the auteurs who made it should be discounted from the awards? That's lunacy, even by Hollyweird standards.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 01:22 pm (UTC)
Well ... this is the city that gave the world Transformers 2. What it thinks is a good idea is not really related to reality ...
(no subject) - alex_s9 on January 26th, 2011 03:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 03:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Shezanshezan on January 26th, 2011 01:21 pm (UTC)
(On the campaign: it comes especially out of left field, because surely Edward & Wallis would have been far, FAR worse?)

blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 01:27 pm (UTC)
God I loathe them. Three generations of my family have thought those two hideous and I am happy to uphold that tradition -- I don't even care that she had lovely jewels, for once, fashion will not sway me!

And it's even more stupid than that because the campaign clearly means to say 'Vote American instead!', but the US took in far fewer Jewish refugees in the lead-up to the war than the UK did. And again, there were many many reasons for this and their government was not psychic, moreover they did very good work later, but still!
(no subject) - shezan on January 26th, 2011 03:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 04:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
AMY 凛☆ラブ☆アタックtomatoe18 on January 26th, 2011 01:22 pm (UTC)
Oh no. Not you too. Already? Ack!

I don't know how I can watch this movie legally. I just refuse to download the movie and/or buy a pirated dvd of it. I want to see it in the big screen!

It has to sweep the Oscars so we can all watch it in a proper cinema.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 01:29 pm (UTC)
You will love it, Amy! Obviously it is a sign that you should take a trip to Sydney so I can take you out for dinner!
(no subject) - tomatoe18 on January 26th, 2011 01:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 01:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tomatoe18 on January 26th, 2011 01:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 02:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - brissygirl on January 26th, 2011 08:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
jigglykat: 30 ROCK: OH MY GODjigglykat on January 26th, 2011 01:31 pm (UTC)
I adored this movie, but I wasn't aware of the campaign! Fail, Hollywood. Fail.

Have you read up about the writer? His story about writing this movie is fascinating all by itself.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 01:34 pm (UTC)
I have a few articles bookmarked to read, but wanted to watch the film first before I knew too much about it. If there are any you would recommend, I would love links!
(no subject) - jigglykat on January 26th, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shezan on January 26th, 2011 03:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Nennenenne on January 26th, 2011 01:36 pm (UTC)
It is a really, really good movie and Colin Firth is brilliant as always, but they were all good. I hope for lots of Oscars!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC)
They WERE all good! I loved the layers of detail they included in everything from the script to sets. It was clearly a labour of love!
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC)
You will love it!
Kitten Kommissar: srscatchickenfeet2003 on January 26th, 2011 01:57 pm (UTC)
irony is my favourite

Anzac day 1993. I arrive at Melbourne airport with my shiny new class 100 Resident Visa, breeze through Immigration , walk out the front and hail a cab. The driver is Turkish.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC)
AHAHAHAHAHA! And I bet he was suitably respectful, too, which I think is one of the loveliest things about the Turkish.
(no subject) - chickenfeet2003 on January 26th, 2011 02:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
auntpurl: tek captain americaauntpurl on January 26th, 2011 02:29 pm (UTC)
I cannot wait to see this film.

Americans are idiots.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 02:35 pm (UTC)
You will adore it, I am certain!

And some Americans are idiots. Others write for Harper's and the New Yorker, or are you :-)
(no subject) - auntpurl on January 27th, 2011 04:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
silent hallucinationalex_s9 on January 26th, 2011 03:06 pm (UTC)
I especially hope Tom Hooper gets an Award for directing - it was brilliant. Although one for Seidler wouldn't hurt as well, the dialogues were brilliant. And one for cinematography is earned, I was almost positive the film was done by Idziak, the way filters on camera were used.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 03:37 pm (UTC)
Those three I would think are the ones that it really and truly should win!
Holly: Contemplative - Anne Hathawayhollyxu on January 26th, 2011 03:06 pm (UTC)
Um, because the English royal family ruthlessly suppresses any sort of actual emotion in PR reports and because I am actually not all up on Edward & Wallis except their wikipedia articles - are they really very odious? (In comparison to the Mitfords, who were... very special.)

I have a cinema gift certificate, I just have no time! D:
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 03:35 pm (UTC)
Of course they do! And so they ought. God knows the last thing the world needs is Prince Andrew emoting.

Be careful of broad statements about the Mitfords, they were a very mixed bunch indeed. Unity was a massive fan of Hitler, Diana married a fascist, Jessica was a communist of the non-Stalinist variety and a lifelong campaigner against fascism and for human rights, Nancy a brilliant satirist who seems to have thought most politics open to corruption, and Pamela and Deborah were/are both perfectly normal if well-off countrywomen who were famous for treating their livestock well and being pleasant to humans. There was a brother, but he died young.

David (Edward) and Wallis on the other hand were self-centred lumps who never did a thing for anyone but each other and would have seen all of Europe fall to the Reich if it meant they could live in luxury. They had strong Nazi connections before and during the war and she at least was wholly unsympathetic of Britain during the Blitz, not to mention a racist twat when they were installed in the Governorship of the Bahamas.

There are quite a few areas on which I will criticise the royal family, but their dislike of the Windsors has my full support!
(no subject) - hollyxu on January 26th, 2011 03:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hollyxu on January 26th, 2011 04:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 04:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - anthraxia on January 26th, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - anthraxia on January 26th, 2011 10:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Loyaulte Me Lie: The Queen ships R/Hrshocolate on January 26th, 2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
If there is a beter film this year, I'll eat a 1930s hat!

Colin Firth was, of course, complete perfection, and if he doesn't win the BAFTA, Oscar, and the Team Gold for Synchronised Swimming at next year's Olympics, then hats will be in very short supply.

I particularly enjoyed how foul David and Wallis were. And Derek Jacobi dissaproving of ruling with a stammer...

To campaign against this speific film, even if George VI had gone on to eat babies, is petty.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 26th, 2011 03:36 pm (UTC)
It's only January, so there are many I have not seen yet, but if it falls out of my top five, this will be a glorious year for cinema!

And yes, it's too ridiculous!
winstonmomwinstonmom on January 26th, 2011 04:36 pm (UTC)
I have a date with the husband to see this movie on Friday. I even hired a baby sitter and that says a lot.
I am really in love with Colin Firth and have told the husband that if he comes to my house looking for me I will go.(nothing personal)
inamac: Cinemainamac on January 26th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC)
I think it was Colin Firth on BBC Radio5's Mayo and Kermode film programme - podcast here who pointed out that had George become King 20 years earlier, there would have been no problem since the monarch made very few public speeches - and no radio, 20 years later and technology would have been able to edit out his stammer. Truly a man born at the wrong time.
mrsquizzicalmrsquizzical on January 26th, 2011 11:52 pm (UTC)
oh, simplistic campaigns for the lose.