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Old January 15 2011, 01:39 AM   #61
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Location: Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
Re: Movies Seen in 2011

1. In the Heat of the Night (A)
2. The Passion of Joan of Arc (B)
3. The Passion of the Christ (A)
4. Mamma Mia! (B)
5. All About Eve (A)
6. Looking for Anne (B-)
7. 2001: A Space Odyssey (B+)
8. The King's Speech (A)

As an historian and monarchy fan, George VI has always been a personal favourite; he tends to be overshadowed by his father, brother, and daughter, but he worked very hard to do his job in very difficult circumstances.

Colin Firth was great; tremendous body language, particularly with his face and throat. Rush and Carter were very good in supporting roles. Timothy Spall as Churchill was a little too hammy for my taste. Also, historical nit: Churchill was Edward VIII's strongest supporter in the Commons during the abdication crisis, and ghost-wrote his farewell speech; he wouldn't have been advising George like that prior to Edward's resignation. George thought he was unreliable (which wasn't an unfair assessment, given his political career in the 1930s) and preferred Lord Halifax, at least until he actually became prime minister; then they became very close.

I admired the film's willingness to basically go without a villain. You have the distant presence of Hitler, and Edward VIII's a bit of a douche, but he's not a bad guy, per se. It's basically two hours of character development/exploration. Nicely mixes sentiment and humour in a way that isn't stiff like a lot of stereotypical Merchant-Ivory productions are. Merely spitballing ideas, the film is plenty long already, but it might have been interesting to include something from the 1939 Canada/US royal tour, which was a huge event for the King and Queen (first royal visit to the Dominion of Canada, first royal visit to the United States).
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