The King's Speech (2010) with Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. In short? Amazing.
Besides being billed with acclaimed actors, The King's Speech had amazing cinematography and a great story line. The story of Bertie, his wife Elizabeth, their two daughters, and his speech therapist was engaging and gave this historical figure a real human draw. The number of close ups to draw you into the personal thoughts and feelings of each character really gave this film that added depth that could have been lost if scenes were relegated to dialogue. I felt that the close ups deserved mentioning because they really did seem to propel the story forward, as Bertie (Colin Firth) had such a difficult time expressing what he was thinking. The combination of distraction and frustration that crossed his face in these closeups, mixed with the words you felt he was dying to spit out, demonstrated just how overwhelming a speech impediment must have been for this royal.
The obvious connection of the film was drawn between Bertie and his speech therapist Lionel Logue, played by Geoffrey Rush. The lines between the two were well thought out and often amusing. If unassuming were an art, Rush's character had that one down. By the conclusion of the film, the friendship does not seem trite or overplayed, but was hard won and professional. In short, there was real respect there that made the story believable.
Although many historians and Anglophiles know the story of King George VI and his difficulty speaking, most of us probably only viewed him as a sort of interim monarch until his daughter, Queen Elizabeth, took the throne. This film does an amazing job of portraying the human side to this monarch and I expect that Colin Firth will gain some much deserved praise and accolades for this role.
By the way, I'm not quite sure how Colin Firth could not think he's still a sex symbol to millions of women (see "Colin Firth says I'm no Sex Symbol"). Although he'll always be connected to his role as Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, Firth is one of those actors that continues to amaze audiences with the range of roles he has chosen and his dashing good looks. At 50, Colin Firth is a sex symbol to admire for way more than just his good looks. Sorry Colin. You're still a sex symbol in my book!