Victor Hugo’s decades-spanning novel Les Misérables has been the subject of countless adaptations since its initial publication in 1862, the latest of which hails from The King’s Speech director, Tom Hooper. He has stripped the tale of ex-convict Jean Valjean’s quest for redemption through revolution-era France down to its core and captured the fraught emotion and difficult subject matter – poverty, prostitution, crime and corruption – through powerful, live on-set Continue reading “Review: Les Misérables (2012)”
Tom Hooper returns to the period drama genre with The King’s Speech, a subtly told tale of life-long struggles and friendship, set during the build-up to World War II.
The King’s Speech tells the story of King George VI (Colin Firth) who, after his brother abdicates the throne, reluctantly becomes king. Plagued by a stammer, George and his wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) enlist the help of unorthodox speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush).
From here, as the characters battle through countless speech sessions, comic fights and heartfelt exchanges, the film builds to a excellent, adrenaline-pumping crescendo, George VI’s first war-time speech.
Firth’s performance as King George VI is remarkable. Not only is he able to portray the character with conviction and believability, but he acquires the stammer as though he’s been plagued with it himself his whole life.
Rush and Carter bring comedy to the film, lifting the tone from morbid period drama to a rousing, and uplifting tale, each holding their own opposite the masterful Firth.
Each of the three actors here should be guaranteed plenty of award nominations, in particular Firth, who has again proved himself as one of Britain’s finest actors.
In addition to the three central leads, there is strong support from Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill, Michael Gambon as King George V and Guy Pearce as King Edward VIII.
Hooper handles the material with care and style, producing a clever, humorous and emotional film that will have leave you lost for words.
A must see, by all accounts.