But if you can honestly pull it off with the King’s Speech? Damn, man, you a smug bastard.
A whole load of nothing
I’ve got to be honest: I’m a sucker for period pieces. In fact, I’ll be writing one this Summer (even if it’ll never get made, but that’s a different story). It was, however, very refreshing to see a period piece set in the thirties. It’s pretty much the ugly duckling of period pieces: it was a pretty shitty time, but the true shitstorm was yet to come. So what’s there to tell?
Quite a lot, apparently. And actually nothing at all. I mean, come on, it’s a movie about king with a stammering problem. Not a lot can happen. Except for the start of World War II, of course – but that becomes a surprising non-issue (or food for a sequel). The whole movie practically takes place in two-three houses (granted, one of them is a palace) and involves two to three people talking about … talking.
I’m not being smug.
This is an extremely, extremely well written piece of cinema. The dialogues are top notch. The characterization is rich and detailed. And yes, granted, it’s a typical Hollywood cinema and suffers for it with a bit too much reliance on music or never actually straying from the comfort zone. But fuck. This is some well-written shit.
The entire production is so convincing. The costumes. The accents. The performances. And special kudos to the sound design, which simply drags you into the story from the get-go, with some cutting back and forth between audibly different locations, some gurgling and a clicking noise. It made the opener from something slightly awkward into a merciless slaughter. The same with the cinematography, which, while not that spectacular, leaves the characters bathe in their own awkwardness by framing them a bit too much to the side or cutting away from the scene just a click too late.
In the final stages of my comedy screenplay, I’ve set myself a goal. I want to create a script that is solid. I want it to show craftmanship – a good water tap. Hot water is hot, cold water is cold. The King’s Speech does this aswell. Only it’s a whole fucking bathroom.