More ink, virtual and otherwise, has been spilled about The King’s Speech than about any film in my memory. Every day another Guardian blog jumps on the bandwagon: stammering, audience demographics, republicanism or – admittedly less often in the Guardian – royalism. Then there’s the rumours of an Oscar boycott, or the Golden Globes (including a bonus short feature starring Ricky Gervais).
I’m not sure there’s any stone left to turn but, on the grounds of it being inexcusable to ignore the cinematic event of the year, here’s my ha’porth:
Did I like it: Yes
Did I cry? Disappointingly no. Having turned up carefully prepared with a large handkerchief, in the end a few fierce blinks sufficed.
Did it make me think about life, the universe and everything? No.
But if that appears to damn with faint praise, it shouldn’t. The King’s Speech is easy on the eye and beautifully acted – by Firth in particular. (For the record I hated A Single Man, although I accept I’m in the minority.) It also has some great quotes, of which my favourite has to be: ‘Do you know the “f” word?’ Ffff… fornication?’
Mostly though, it’s fabulous to see that ‘British film’ and ‘breaking box office records’ doesn’t have to be an oxymoron – the mere fact of arriving at cinemas to be greeted with queues and sold out signs is exciting. Also, I chose the words ‘cinematic event of the year’ with care. It may not be my film of the year, but in terms of getting people talking about cinema and off their sofas and into the pictures, it deserves all the praise that’s being heaped upon it.