Ross vs Ross’ Best Picture Fight Club is Up – The King Speech Review

Counting down to the Oscar this coming Sunday, and the boys from rossvross.com have gone a little Oscar crazy this week. A couple of weeks ago, Ross McG rounded up nine other bloggers (including his partner in crime Ross McD) for a ten-way Best Picture Oscar battle. Because there are so many movies – and because it will go in the newspaper edition of the Metro in Dublin – the word count is quite restricted. Each battler will have about 75 to 100 words to put their argument across, as well as choose a ‘battle-y’ type quote from your movie to stick at the top of your argument. The movie each guest battler would have to do is drawn out of a hat, and fortunately I got the movie I REALLY enjoy and root for, The King’s Speech!

Check out the Best Picture Fight Club Page and vote for your favorite!


Below is my full review of the film before I narrowed it down to 100 words:

Lionel Logue: I believe sucking smoke into your lungs will kill you.

King George VI: My physicians say it relaxes the throat.
Lionel Logue: They’re idiots.
King George VI: They’ve all been knighted.
Lionel Logue: Makes it official then.

The hardest part of this assignment is finding the ‘battle quote’ from this film as there are too many good ones to choose from! I ended up choosing the one I did because it made me laugh so hard in the theater.

This film has swept all kinds of major awards left and right… so seriously, all those award voters can’t possibly be wrong. No, scratch that. They often do. In fact, it’s rare that I actually agree with the ‘best picture’ choice of a given year, but this time I’m glad that I can say ‘I concur!’

This film is so much more than about a king with a debilitating impediment. It’s a ‘buddy’ comedy-drama about two very different people forming an unlikely friendship that change their lives forever. Now, under less-capable hands, this could easily be a run of the mill period drama, but Tom Hooper‘s direction gives this such a fresh and modern feel to it that it won’t feel tedious even if British period drama isn’t your cup of tea.

There are so many things praise-worthy about this film, it seems to have all the ingredients of a first-rate feature. But the two strongest things going for it are the brilliant script that peppers scene after scene with wonderfully-memorable dialog, and the equally-adept actors who deliver them. The entire cast are noteworthy: Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Timothy Spall and Derek Jacobi are all great in their roles, but without a doubt The King’s Speech belongs to Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush.

The unlikely buddies – Bertie and Lionel

Both Firth and Rush delivered masterful performances on their own right, but combine the two thespians together on screen and it just spells magic. Their scenes together are enchanting to watch from the start, right from the moment they met all the way to the very last scene. Whether they’re getting along swimmingly or swapping sarcastic, even scathing remarks at each other, the chemistry between them always feel right. The therapy scenes are by far the funniest. It’s great to see that humor is not lost on Hooper despite the serious subject matter. In fact, there are plenty of rib-tickling scenes, especially the one that garnered the R-rating from MPAA.

Besides the performances, the gorgeous yet intimate cinematography by Danny Cohen and lush music by Alexandre Desplat are also noteworthy. Everything just works nicely in creating a wonderful and warm atmosphere for the film.

Final thoughts: A film doesn’t have to be dark, brain-twisting or nightmarish to be engaging. The King’s Speech is a warm and poignant film about a king with a story well worth telling. Tom Hooper’s adept direction combined with a brilliant script and masterful acting equals a first-rate feature. Scene after scene is peppered with memorable dialogue and captivating chemistry between the actors, especially Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. It made me laugh and cry throughout, and by the end I really was ready to give a standing ovation.

This is why this is in my top five favorite of 2010 and the one to root for come Oscar night!


Feel free to add your thoughts about the film, and of course, don’t forget to cast your vote!

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30 thoughts on “Ross vs Ross’ Best Picture Fight Club is Up – The King Speech Review

  1. have to say Ruth, Kings Speech isnt my favourite of the ten – i like the one with the Swan and the one with the chicken – but your argument almost won me over. great job and thanks for contributing. great to see the process that went into cutting it down to 100 words. which isnt easy at all.

    1. Ha..ha.. the one w/ the chicken is Social Network right? Took me a second to figure that out, too funny! Why thanks for your kind words about my battle argument… that means a lot coming from you! Thanks also for making me work like a real writer having to cut down to 100 words, as you said, it’s easy to blab but to write concisely is another matter.

      As for the R-rating, yeah it’s ridiculous. I mean, I’m not one who support bad language and cussing, but people ought to look at the context it’s used in. In this case, it’s crucial to the story and like you said, it’s not gratuitous. In fact, it’s one of the funniest and most moving parts of the movie!

      Here’s an article about the rating:
      http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/awards-campaign-2009/posts/oscar-watch-the-kings-speech-gets-an-r-rating-for-language

      I agree w/ Hooper that there are tons of films out there that warrant an R-rating more than this one for their disturbing images!

  2. so it got an R rating in the US? over here it was just a 12 and not a 15 – think the BBFC argued that the bad language was used within the context of him trying to lose his stutter and so was not gratuitous. interesting stuff.

  3. I’m voting for The King’s Speech as well 🙂
    Love the movie and I love your review too, I’m going to link your review once I finished writing my review. Been very busy and I have no time to write yet, I’ll make it today.

    I wish I can remember all the quotes that make me laugh, the one you’ve chosen is one of them, the other is when the bishop talked about the head I’m going to put the crown and the king said well this is my head.

    Hope this movie will win and Firth bring home his trophy for best actor 🙂 . I couldn’t say the same thing for Rush because I’m hoping Bale will bring home the naked man statue

    1. High five Nov! And glad you like my review of it… and I’m looking forward to reading yours.

      Yeah, there are lots of great quotes from this film, lots of them are funny, too.

      Oh, and yes about Rush. I love him in this movie but he’s already got an Oscar whilst Bale has never even been nominated ONCE!! So yeah, he better goes home w/ the naked man statue.

  4. It’s great that you had to argue for your favorite of the bunch. I had to make an argument for Winter’s Freaking Bones which I didn’t feel was that great a movie outside of the performances.

    PS: Will I be seeing you on Wednesday evening? 😉

    1. I’m sorry to hear that Castor, but man you still made a compelling battle argument so hats off to you!

      Oh yes, I’ll be there in Uptown tomorrow night w/ Ted in tow. Looking forward to seeing you there, Castor!

  5. What caught me completely off guard with The King’s Speech were a lot of the camera angles. There was a lot of isolation going on- see here:

    Lots of shots like that one. I’m still in the Black Swan camp but I’m almost 100% certain that it won’t win. And #2 for me is The King’s Speech. It didn’t do anything bold, per se (and that’s no knock on it at all). It just did everything that it aimed to do, very well.

    Winter’s Bone is sort of floating around the periphery. I’ve adopted it as a sort of underdog. It has no chance and it gets a lot of negative comments, but it took some huge chances and pulled them off, IMO. It’s every bit as aware of the film history that predated it as Black Swan was, and that makes me very happy.

      1. Oooh that’s a great shot, yes you’re right, the film looks beautiful but not for beauty sake. The shots convey a lot of emotion, the one on that link shows just how lonely the monarch lives even though he’s constantly surrounded by people. And in this case, his stutter isolates him even more.

        A lot of people are in your camp about ‘Swan’ and it probably has a pretty good chance of winning a bunch of awards, though probably not Best Picture.

        Thank you John, it was more of a challenge to whittle it down to only 100 words!!

    1. here I go again with the wholesome yet fattening breakfast references. I mean I do like a good ramble….Now It looks like I am going for a walk in the country….I will get my coat.

    2. I hope you mean FTW as in For the Win, as there’s another meaning for that abbreviation 😉

      He..he.. your name is Custard so naturally you have to have breakfast references!

  6. Irina

    I am glad you said that a film doesn’t have to be dark, brain-twisting or nightmarish to be engaging. There are so many of them today that they no longer intrigue, provoke or even entertain.

    It was great to see the King’s Speech. The film is heart-warming, humorous and witty. The dialogues and performances are fantastic. We left the theatre still laughing at its jokes. We just loved it!

    I sincerely hope it wins “the naked man statue” (that was funny Ruth).

    1. Thank you Irina, glad you share my sentiment about movies today. It seems like if a movie isn’t dark or disturbing these days it can’t be ‘entertaining’ … well, I beg to differ.

      I feel the same way leaving the theater, it’s a lot funnier than I expect but a lot of the credit also goes to the actors who deliver the lines.

    1. No I haven’t read that actually. But so what, I’m sure it happens a lot in various other films, it’s not like that’s the reason why Hooper used the set, in fact, sounds like he had no idea. In any case, it doesn’t affect the movie one way or another.

  7. This is such a great and comprehensive review Ruth! I love it. One thing I love about your reviews/posts is that you like to mention aspects that others fail to bring to light. “the gorgeous yet intimate cinematography by Danny Cohen and lush music by Alexandre Desplat are also noteworthy.”

    A very enjoyable read paying tribute to a very enjoyable film. You are right, it is about the relationships. Between a King and his country, his family, and his newfound friend! Bravo, Ruth!

    1. Thank you T for the kind words. It’s hard not to notice the two elements as they’re pivotal to the quality of the film.

      The relationship between Lionel and Bertie just comes across so genuine, I almost wonder if Firth and Rush also became friends as a result of filming this.

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