So after a fairly dire year in film, it seems as if with both The King's Speech and Black Swan, the studios were keeping their best movies until last.
There's lots of Oscar buzz surrounding Colin Firth's performance as the stammering 'King George VI' (or 'Bertie' as he's affectionately known to friends and family), but I have to say that Geoffrey Rush is equally deserving for his role as the Australian speech therapist that helped the King with his stutter and public speaking.
The movie is endearing, funny and a joy to watch. It was also interesting to learn more about the King's ascension to the throne, the abdication of his brother over Mrs. Wallis Simpson, his struggle with his stammer and the importance of his speeches during wartime Britain.
It's funny, but living overseas I feel more of an affinity with these inherently British movies than I ever did living in the U.K., maybe i'm just getting older or it really is that distance makes the heart grow fonder. Mind you it really makes a difference when a film is this good, with it's wonderful cast, evocative locations and engaging story.
Guy Pearce, who seems to have been missing from the big screen of late, also shines and charms as the King's brother.
Helena Bonham Carter makes for a wonderful 'Queen Elizabeth' and their relationship seems sweet and loving, although I'm sure it's been given a 'Hollywood makeover' as they seem so down to earth and vulnerable. I for one have never envisaged the British monarchy as being such emotional creatures.
But I can suspend my disbelief and enjoy this charming tale. The time just seemed to fly by and the 116 minutes seemed to be over too quickly, I could easily have enjoyed this world for longer.
The King's Speech is a five ***** star film with real heart and superb performances. Roll on the Academy Awards when I hope many of the cast and filmmakers will be recognised for this wonderful piece of cinema...