Last night was a gratifying Golden Globes broadcast for me as a fan of film–and no, not because Ricky Gervais ripped all of Hollywood a new one. All of the films nominated for ‘Best Picture – Drama,’ and the actors bringing those characters to life, gave some absolutely stunning performance, the kind that make you forget you’re watching a film. That’s the good stuff, peeps, by my estimation anyway.
(Please note: I am NOT talking about the ‘Best Picture – Comedy or Musical’ category here. While nominated films like The Kids Are All Right are standouts, there are some… others, that probably only made it to the nomination table due to some A-list celebs starring in them. The latter shall remain nameless as Gervais already went there for the rest of us. Like a dead horse. Done.)
Back to the drama on the silver screen. This year’s nominated films (The King’s Speech, Inception,The Social Network, The Fighter, and Black Swan) all made audiences think, pay attention, and sit on the edge of their seats. Not everything was spelled out for we, the moviegoers, and in a nice twist-of-fate, Hollywood actually acknowledged we possess smart little noggins. Thanks for noticing and not dumbing it down.
True, The Social Network took home the prize, as well it probably should have for being a film that so completely covers the climate of how we socialize at the moment (sad, but true), but it’s Colin Firth’s recognition and win for his role in The King’s Speech that has me singing this morning.
As someone who once struggled with her speech, I was taken aback by how utterly (forgive the pun, please) rounded out his portrayal of King George VI who is thrown into rule during the onset of WWII due to the death of his father (once a king), and the abdication of his elder brother (present king), thrusting him into the spotlight (future king) he never, ever–never ever–would have sought.
Firth hits every note perfectly (complete with cussing through the stammer–LOVE!), accurately portraying the raging anger, frustration, fear, complete isolation, humiliation, hopelessness, and undoubtedly, humor, that come from an unwelcome guest in the game of communication. And make no mistake, if you can’t speak for yourself for whatever reason, speech is far less a dance of give-and-take than it is an onslaught of goals being scored against you. His work will most likely score him the Oscar, too, just you wait and see, folks!
Without giving away the entire film–for you so have to see it for yourself–King George “Bertie” VI has victories and setbacks that are realistic. There is no mysterious overnight success the typical Hollywood treatment might throw on in heavy doses. Bertie only moves forward as he accepts help from an incredibly straightforward wife, played by Helena Bonham Carter (forgive the wacky sense of style–she’s brilliant) and speech therapist Lionel Logue, lovingly embodied by Geoffrey Rush, who was also a producer on the film.
This is a film about struggle, success, failure, community and friendship. If that doesn’t speak for all of us, I don’t know what does.