Not to beat a dead horse (or king), but I've just read Roger Ebert's review of The King's Speech, and, as I must say I expected, it was so irritatingly positive that it made me dislike the movie (which I've already discussed here and here) even more than I did before. So while in my other posts I talked about what was wrong with the movie, in today's post I'm going to talk about what's wrong with Mr. Ebert's review.
But first: I received a comment on my last post on this movie saying that I may be underestimating the importance of the abdication crisis. That may well be correct; I admit to knowing little about the abdication besides that it happened. I did look it up on Wikipedia just now and the article suggested that King George VI's brother, which was the one who abdicated, was a fairly open supporter of Hitler, so it seems to me that his abdication was likely for the best. But none of this rather more important history even makes an appearance in the movie, so don't think you'll figure it all out by watching it.
Anyway, here are some choice quotations from Roger Ebert's review, followed by my thoughts in bold, you know, so you notice them.
"Albert (i.e. the king) has been raised within the bell jar of the monarchy and objects to [being on a first-name basis with his speech therapist] not because he has an elevated opinion of himself but because, well, it just isn't done." Really? I'd have an elevated opinion of myself if I were him.
"If the British monarchy is good for nothing else, it's superb at producing the subjects of films." Come now, let's give credit where credit is due. It's quite good at producing tourism for London, isn't it?
"Americans, who aren't always expert on British royalty, may not necessarily realize that Albert and wife Elizabeth were the parents of Queen Elizabeth II." Are you kidding me? Americans know everything about British royalty. They want to know who's designing Kate's wedding dress even more than the Brits do! In fact, the only thing they know more about than British royalty is American royalty (a.k.a. the Kennedy family).
"The unsavory thing is that Wallis Simpson considered herself worthy of such a sacrifice from the man she allegedly loved." He's not saying what I think he's saying, which is something like, "How dare that dumb bitch think she deserved marriage from the man who supposedly loved her?" is he? Is he?
"The Duke and Duchess of Windsor... would occupy an inexplicable volume of attention for years, considering they had no significance after the Duke's abdication." It's not that inexplicable, actually. It's called being a celebrity. Kim Kardashian has no significance either, but I bet you pay a bit of attention to her at least sometimes.
"The movie is largely shot in interiors, and most of those spaces are long and narrow... I suspect [the director] may be evoking the narrow, constricting walls of Albert's throat as he struggles to get the words out." I disagree. I think he's evoking the narrow, constricting walls of my throat as my lunch struggles to get out after reading this review.