R; 1:58 running time "The King's Speech" reminds us that although everything can go wrong with a film before it gets to the casting stage, and often does, a couple of marvelous performances can elevate solid, well-carpentered material and make it something special. This juicy, witty historical docudrama stars Colin Firth as Bertie, the future King George VI, and Geoffrey Rush as his "speech defects" consultant, an Australian living in London by the name of Lionel Logue. The actors, predictably, are superb in roles shaped by screenwriter David Seidler, and directed by Tom Hooper. Yet they are unpredictably superb as well. Naturally ebullient and sometimes shamelessly scene-stealing, Rush has never given a more contained or moving screen performance. Partly it's a response to the director's visual strategy: Hooper keeps his slightly distorting fish-eye-lens very close to his subjects, high-born as well as common. -- Michael Phillips Read the full review.
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