I don’t know what is up with Colin Firth but he really has taken his acting to a whole new level in the past few years. I’ve always known he was a good actor because in all of his movies in the past, I’ve never seen him as Colin Firth. I’ve always seen him as… Mr. Darcy, Mark Darcy, Vermeer, Lord Henry Dashwood, Harry… all these different characters that have nothing to do with the real actor.
But then A Single Man came out and it was like he suddenly jumped to a whole new grade of acting excellence. He’s suddenly more refined, more finessed and more… just more. I can’t even explain it. He went from skilled to absolutely marvelous.
Is it because he chose better roles in better movies with better directors and better scripts? It could be.
Whatever the case may be, I have to say… it is so bloody hard to take my eyes off Mr. Firth as Bertie, or King George VI, in The King’s Speech. My eyes are trained on him all the time. He made it difficult for me to look away. I just wanted to keep looking at him, absorbing him, and never stop. I think I understand now why he’s getting all these accolades for the role: that role is not something just about anyone else can play. It hasto be Colin Firth. I tried picturing everyone from Rufus Sewell to Jason Isaacs to Daniel Craig and I failed to fit any of them in this role. If there’s anyone who could play King George VI with the stammer, it’s Colin Firth and Colin Firth only. Because even at his most stoic, Firth’s Bertie can evoke emotional responses from the audience.
Overall, the entire movie is artfully and thoughtfully crafted. It does what Never Let Me Go fails to do in terms of presentation: it doesn’t try too hard to look beautiful. Everything was ‘just right’. But as good as many aspects of the film are (including the costume and production design, art direction and set decoration, Alexander Desplat’s beautiful scores, the super fine performances of Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush), its true star is obvious.
The King’s Speech is Colin Firth’s show. It’s the one unforgettable acting masterpiece of Mr. Firth’s that everyone should see… and then applaud.