Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Peter T Chattaway

The King's Speech (2010)

Recommended Posts

Peter is the king of Oscar trivia, so I'll put this question to him:

How many times in Oscar history have we had a shoutout to a same-sex partner?


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Christian wrote:

: How many times in Oscar history have we had a shoutout to a same-sex partner?

Oh, gosh, I dunno. The first time I can remember noticing anything like that was in 1992, when Beauty and the Beast won for one of its songs, and lyricist Howard Ashman's partner showed up to accept the award with composer Alan Menken. (Ashman himself died shortly before the film came out.) So, not exactly a shout-out, but an acknowledgement of some sort.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course, having The King's Speech win was devastatingly predictable, and I can think of a couple of not-nominated films that I would have preferred to see win (not even counting True Grit, The Social Network, or Winter's Bone), but it's difficult to fault the Academy. It's certainly not a misstep like giving the award to Shakespeare in Love or Titanic.

As far as "wholesomeness" goes...sure, I can see that. I'm not certain the movie is as wholesome in the sense of making-whole as several of the other nominees, but it's nice to see the Academy avoid the "all Art is depressing" path. It's a lovely little movie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter is the king of Oscar trivia, so I'll put this question to him:

How many times in Oscar history have we had a shoutout to a same-sex partner?

Melissa Etheridge thanked "my wife" (now ex) when she won Best Song for AL GORE'S APOCALYPSE NOW. And then there was the Tom Hanks incident (not one's own, but nevertheless) that inspired the film IN & OUT


Yeah ... well ... I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you there on that one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In all the clips for this film, I have to say I'm kinda weirded out by Hooper's framing and the way it edits; shots with characters on opposite sides of the frame giving lots of space to background being intercut with one another. It's unusual, even awkward.

Glad you picked up on that. I mentioned this same thing a page or two back. The awkwardness of some of the framing was so jarring that it took me out of scenes completely, to the point where I had trouble focusing on the dialogue. Kind of why I compared this to an episode of Masterpiece Theater.


Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In all the clips for this film, I have to say I'm kinda weirded out by Hooper's framing and the way it edits; shots with characters on opposite sides of the frame giving lots of space to background being intercut with one another. It's unusual, even awkward.

Glad you picked up on that. I mentioned this same thing a page or two back. The awkwardness of some of the framing was so jarring that it took me out of scenes completely, to the point where I had trouble focusing on the dialogue. Kind of why I compared this to an episode of Masterpiece Theater.

If you were to see Masterpiece Theater's version of Jane Eyre you might take that back.

It's funny, I usually see stuff like this, and I've seen it a lot since I saw the film, in stills and scenes shown on TV, etc. But I didn't notice anything weird about it in the theater. I wonder if it is because I was so engrossed in the story.

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In all the clips for this film, I have to say I'm kinda weirded out by Hooper's framing and the way it edits; shots with characters on opposite sides of the frame giving lots of space to background being intercut with one another. It's unusual, even awkward.

Glad you picked up on that. I mentioned this same thing a page or two back. The awkwardness of some of the framing was so jarring that it took me out of scenes completely, to the point where I had trouble focusing on the dialogue. Kind of why I compared this to an episode of Masterpiece Theater.

It's funny, I usually see stuff like this, and I've seen it a lot since I saw the film, in stills and scenes shown on TV, etc. But I didn't notice anything weird about it in the theater. I wonder if it is because I was so engrossed in the story.

Well, the particular scene I refer to had an effect on me that really affected my appreciation of the film. B)


Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL, I'm never going to get that. There was a day when passion for film was enough but now you've got to be an English major to affect understanding.


In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stef's remark is true in one sense of the verb affect, but not necessarily in the other. That is, you might need to be an English major to influence another person's understanding, but you needn't be an English major to act as though you understand. To effect understanding, i.e., to bring it about, it's nice to be an English major and nicer still to talk to other English majors.

Then again, I wonder what English lieutenants would think about English majors. Or is that "leftenants"? As opposed to the tenants who stayed behind?

A book I enjoyed as a child, Me and Paul Revere by Robert Lawson (who also wrote Ben and Me and Captain Kidd's Cat), actually used the spelling "leftenant" (in order to force readers to use the British pronunciation, I guess). However, newer editions of the book bear the more-grammatical title Mr. Revere and I, so I wonder whether the spelling of "lieutenant" has been corrected as well.

Edited by mrmando

Let's Carl the whole thing Orff!

Do you know the deep dark secret of the avatars?

It's big. It's fat. It's Greek.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW, this film has now passed Inglourious Basterds to become the top-grossing film released by the Weinstein Company, at least domestically. Overseas, it still has some catching up to do.

(And what is the Weinsteins' #3 film? Scary Movie 4! And what is their #4 film? Hoodwinked!! And both of those films came out roughly five years ago.)

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David Thomson (in a pre-Oscar commentary on Social Network and The King's Speech), sounding a lot like SDG:

David Fincher’s The Social Network deserves to be called brilliant, smart, tricky entertainment, and it’s as instructive as it is alarming about the personality of some of our brightest young people. If you know less about Facebook than your children know, it is a very educational picture, and it may even lead to a useful conversation with the kids if you see the movie in a family situation. But try finding someone to like in the picture, or trust. Try finding a female character who isn’t trashed. Try caring.

Your kids may tell you, “Well, come on, dude, we don’t do caring any more,” but I don’t know if I believe them. I think most of them in 2011 are scared shitless about what they’re going to do, and what will become of them. That’s one of the reasons why they cluster around Facebook—but don’t ask too closely whether membership brings them comfort or ease. I daresay Jesse Eisenberg gives a remarkable performance as Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder. It may be a lot closer to the reality than Firth’s Bertie is to the king—indeed, as I recall, Firth is more robust and vigorous than the real George VI, who looked like a nervous wreck.

It doesn’t matter. The Social Network doesn’t like Zuckerberg. Indeed, a striking characteristic of David Fincher’s films is his predilection for characters he doesn’t like. This may amount to artistic identity (a pinch of salt is provided at the bottom of the page) or it may just be that Fincher is a contented misanthrope. He has that right, just as audiences have the right and the habit and let us call it the need to look for people they like.

No matter that a lot has changed since 1937, and much of it for the good (though there is still no cure for stammering, feeling insecure and lonely, or even for unemployment), the public—ourselves—have not lost the pleasure in following stories and identifying with characters we like. They don’t have to be Shirley Temple or Lassie. But they have to nurse enough hope or energy or good will to bring us out at night. The King’s Speech takes due advantage of punctured pomp, period clothes, and British supporting actors (shameless attributes of cultural tourism), but it is written, directed, and played as if personal unhappiness matters and stimulates the attempt to get better. That is actually as much an American tradition as it ever was alive and well in Britain.

You probably won’t get better. You will fail. No one survives. We know these truths. But movies live and die on the hope. Mark Zuckerberg is a crushing, ruinous success—that’s why we don’t like him and why The Social Network can find not a glimmer of comfort. Little distresses the rest of the world more about Americans than their hysterical triumph and self-congratulation in success. It’s a dismay creeping into more and more smart Americans, too. That is why The King’s Speech will win Best Picture. Is it a good film? It doesn’t matter.


P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess his favoring King's Speech for its hopefulness and a sense that people can improve... it made me think of your defense of the Hooper film.

Reading it again, maybe "a lot" is overstating it.

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Weinstein Company released a watered-down, PG-13 version of the film yesterday (in the United States, at least; I don't know if it's being released in Canada, where the original version of the film is already rated PG in most provinces and G in Quebec).

The Weinsteins are obviously doing this to rake in more money, but it's actually one of their most successful films ever already -- if not, indeed, the MOST successful film they have ever released.

The film has already grossed $135.5 million in North America, which is better than any other Weinstein Company release, and better than all but three Miramax releases -- the exceptions being Good Will Hunting (1997, $138.4 million), Scary Movie (2000, $157 million) and Chicago (2002, $170.7 million).

But overseas, The King's Speech has outdone them all, with $238.3 million from foreign grosses alone. The only other Weinstein-affiliated movie to gross over $200 million overseas is Bridget Jones's Diary, which grossed $210.4 million overseas (and another $71.4 million in North America) for Miramax in 2001.

So if you put the domestic and foreign grosses together, The King's Speech has grossed a grand total of $373.7 million worldwide, which easily beats the previous Weinstein champ Inglourious Basterds (2009, $313.6 million worldwide).

BTW, the new poster below has begun to inspire some parodies.

For his part, Lou Lumenick doubts that "the family values crowd is going to be rushing out see to this one", and he notes that the Weinsteins' previous efforts to dumb down an already-successful movie for the masses haven't worked out so well: "the Weinsteins' notorious English-language version of the Italian 'Life is Beautiful' flopped." Meanwhile, Owen Gleiberman asks: "Do the best pictures of the year really need to be subjected to the American 'family-ization' of entertainment?"

Oh, and note how Colin Firth (or his voice-dubber) now apparently lets out a string of "shits" in place of the previous word, and note how this new watered-down version of the movie is still rated PG-13, not PG (and certainly not G). So ... is this new watered-down version of the film really a "family event" in the sense that the targeted audience would use the term?

ks.jpg


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B4iifg_-b4

And while we're on the subject, Movieguide knocks some points off because the film has "humanist psychobabble..." and "16 or 17 “f” words."

Well, which is it, Ted? 16 or 17?

Conclusion?

Regrettably, the movie also often sides with the speech therapist’s Romantic, anti-authoritarian attitude and contains lots of strong foul language when the therapist urges the king to say bad words to cure his problem. Thus, extreme caution is warranted.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

 

"Forget it, Jake. It's Funkytown."    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I returned to the film in the wake of the Cats debacle to take more intentional look at Hooper's direction. (I see Stef and others already noted some of the quirks of the editing that really stand out in retrospect.)

http://1morefilmblog.com/2020/01/09/the-kings-speech-10-years-later-hooper-2010/

 

Quote

For example, in the first meeting between Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) and Logue (Geoffrey Rush) we begin with a longer shot to establish location and move fairly quickly, as the conversation ensues, to a somewhat standard shot-reverse shot as the two actors exchange lines. But rather than the camera keeping an equal distance each time we cut to a different speaker, sometimes it retreats back to a medium shot, sometimes to a close up. If the camera proxemics are supposed to mirror some ebb or flow of the conversation, I missed that. In fact, I wondered if Hooper’s choice of soliciting input from the actors on the dailies resulted in his performers preferring different takes.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...