Friday evening 14/01/11 off to the cinema: persuaded by daughters against my better judgement to go and see a film called "The King's Speech" not because of as some might think my hostility to the monarchy but simply because the idea of a film about someone trying to overcome a stammer held no appeal. Anyone who takes an interest in cinema will not be surprised to know that I was entirely wrong, the film, the dialogue, the jokes, the acting etc. were outstanding: it's not often in buttoned up Britain that you hear loud unrestrained laughter in a cinema but it was here in abundance. The main characters the King, Queen and the speech therapist are played brilliantly by Colin Firth as George V1 Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen and Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue the speech therapist.
The above 3 lead a stellar cast and they are superb, the American market will as always lap it up as their appetite for upper class British stories is insatiable, they seem to think of Britain as being in a kind of old fashioned time warp and they love it. The Americans think this is history which it is of course a version of; albeit a sanitised version but, they are not completely aware that the Royal family are not much changed; a glance at the Government front bench will remind you of that. Don't look for much historical content, it has been given a good coating of whitewash and the Nazi menace which paralysed Europe at the time gets hardly a mention.
As big Basil Fawlty would say "don't mention the War" the utterly vacuous Edward V111 is skipped over as is his outspoken admiration of Hitler and the Nazis, likewise 'Bertie' George V1 who actively tried to prevent Jews from escaping Hitler's terror. His Queen is played as a funny charming airhead who has a slight air of menace about her but there is no hint of the rancid old racist and bigoted snob whom we all grew up referring to as "The Queen Mum" the nation's granny as the Daily Mail would have it, BTW there is still no sign of the £6M. of debt that she left: that was a clever trick wasn't it?
Their chances are being played up for Oscars which if they are flying around should go to Rush but it might not happen because there is a powerful Jewish lobby campaigning against the film because of its historical inaccuracy about Hitler and the anti Semitism which it studiously ignores. I'm not sure about that stance because had I been looking for an accurate narrative of the time I would simply not gone to see it, they would be better to voice their concerns and accept it as a film with no message of any kind other than to entertain which it does brilliantly. On a final note: Rush is such a chameleon that after 15 mns. I whispered to my daughter "I'm sure I've seen that guy?" "He was the chief bad guy in 'The Pirates of the Caribbean series of films" she whispered rather disdainfully ! its worth going to see him alone, go see it.