Colin Firth in The King's Speech
Though this film was released at film festivals in 2010, it was not released in British cinemas until 2011 and that is why Firth's performance is still considered the best of 2011 in my opinion.
This film was exemplary in every way, especially when it came to Colin Firth's performance.
The film opens with the the Duke of York (as King George VI then was) attempting to give the closing speech at the Empire Exhibition in Wembley Stadium in 1925, which was broadcast around the world. From this opening scene Firth plays the part perfectly. He looks completely anguished behind the eyes as he fails to speak. The scene is of such an upsetting nature that Firth manages to sway the audiences sympathies behind this poor man for the rest of the film.
Firth manages to stammer brilliantly throughout, making it a great dynamic device. The intensity of his character is played perfectly off the cheeky, colonial speech therapist, Logue, who is insistent on using first names, donning the King Bartie.
The long scenes between Geoffrey Rush's character of Logue and Firth in the consulting room are well sustained and very funny.
In my opinion, the film really revolves around this relationship more than anything else. This Rocky-style story line, in which a man who has lost all faith is helped by a gifted trainer who triumphs over what is at first considered the impossible, is often overdone in other films. This is perhaps the only downfall of The King's Speech as it is completely devoted to this restricting story line, with no sub-plot. There are also minor questions of inaccuracies, as there always are with films based on true stories, The King's Speech gives across the impression that Bertie had no other friends bar his therapist, which is not strictly true.
However, despite these minor criticisms, Firth's performance in conflict with Rush's character brings the film to life. He holds the viewers attention throughout the film, with the audience backing his character every step of the way. The King's Speech is definitely a film that leaves you with your heart in your mouth.