The King's Speech is a warm, wise film - the best period movie of the year and one of the year's best movies.
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It's a warm, richly funny and highly enjoyable human story that takes an intriguing sideways glance at a crucial period in 20th-century history.
The barbs of wit, delivered throughout, are like the retractable daggers used in stage productions of "Macbeth" or "Julius Caesar": they gleam enticingly, they plunge home to the hilt, but they leave no trace of a wound.
It's the relationship between the two men that makes the film work: Geoffrey Rush's teacher cracking the quip, and Colin Firth so persuasive as the panicky king that by the time he gets to his crucial speech about going to war, you'll be panicking right along with him.
Let's say it without equivocation: Colin Firth deserves an Oscar for his lead role in The King's Speech as the stammering King George VI.
It's a prizewinning combination, terribly English and totally Hollywood, and Firth is, once more, uncanny: He evokes, in mid-stammer, existential dread.
The gift of The King's Speech is that it allows us to look on as a pair of masterful actors re-create a monumental test of wills.
It perhaps started with "The Queen," continued with "Young Victoria" and now achieves the most intimate glimpse inside the royal camp to date with The King's Speech.
That film does have its attractions, notably in its two solid leads and standout support from Mr. Pearce.
Yes, The King's Speech is a lively burst of populist rhetoric, superbly performed and guaranteed to please even discriminating crowds.