Monday, December 6, 2010


Review: The King's Speech
4 stars (out of 5)
By R. Kurt Osenlund

Can a movie be too perfect? It's a question you may very well ask yourself once you reach the immaculate, crowning conclusion of “The King's Speech,” an Oscar-hungry British biopic about stuttering monarch King George VI. Directed with faultless precision by Tom Hooper (“The Damned United”), it's about as crisp and square-cornered a prestige picture as you're likely to find. Its fact-based subject matter is at once grand and modest, it pays graceful homage to an oft-overlooked handicap, its well-behaved humor stealthily cuts through its highbrow tension, and its par-for-the-course conflicts rise and fall on cue. Its hard-won ascent and ultimate uplift are so bloody satisfying, it's easy to skip over the fact that there's indeed a little something missing. “Speech” covers all the bases, but in staying so close to the playbook, it sacrifices necessary amounts of surprise and risk.

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