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The King’s Speech/True Grit

First, Happy New Year to all and sundry.  May 2011 treat us all gently and may we all realize our dreams in the upcoming year.

It’s For Your Consideration time, and since New Mexico is now known as Tamalewood I am finally able to use my WGA card without a giant argument at the movie theaters.  So taking advantage of free movies I have seen THE KING’S SPEECH last week, and TRUE GRIT this afternoon.

Both will be nominated for Best Picture, but I think The King’s Speech is overall a better film.  More nuanced with a greater degree of subtlety, and I think the performances, overall, were better.

Jeff Bridges is playing a larger than life character and doing it very well, but the young woman playing Mattie was truly wonderful.  Truth is she has to carry this movie.  I especially liked the formality of the language that the Coen brothers chose to use.  It’s been years since I saw the original, but I don’t remember it using this precise and formal speech.  I wish I could have taken notes on some of the wonderful turns of phrase.  

The movie was shot primarily in New Mexico and made me want to get out go camping and hiking again.  (Not right now, however, it is 7 degrees outside right now.  Brrrr.)  Anyway, I liked the film, but it is, at heart a western with all the attendant tropes and, yes, clichés.  I enjoyed it, but I don’t want it to win Best Picture, or Bridges to win Best Actor.

I really want Colin Firth to be nominated and win for his stunning performance as George 6th in The King’s Speech.  I loved this movie.  I would see it again, and that is very rare for me.  I almost never see a film more than once, particularly at the theater.

In some ways his performance reminded me of Kevin Spacey in L.A. Confidential where he can do more with a look than most actors can do with a page of monologue.  There were moments in The King’s Speech when Firth almost broke my heart.

It’s a story of friendship and overcoming adversity, and it builds so beautifully as it approaches the climax. 

I think the direction in both films was very fine.  I think it’s going to be an interesting year at the Oscars because, frankly, so many of the films this year were just terrible.

Next film up — BLACK SWAN.  I do wish they wouldn’t cram all the good movies into the final month of the year.  It becomes exhausting trying to see them all before the Oscars.

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