28 April 2011

Topsy-Turvy/The King's Speech

An extreme amount of hopping up-and-down occured last Saturday - the mailman brought me a package with movie goodness inside!!!

Mike Leigh's Topsy-Turvy was released on Blu-ray last month and I could hardly wait to get my hands on it.  I love Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, particularly The Mikado so I loved the movie when it originally released (although, once again, being in Iowa, I had to wait until it was released on cable to see it).  It's a fun biopic, in a way, since every character in the film was a real person, right down to the chorus of the D'Oyly Carte.  The costumes and sets are amazing, well-worth the Oscars earned, and very detailed.  All the actors do their own singing, something I really like and you can really hear the women pushing against their corsets to breathe.  Bonus points: Kevin McKidd, who many people know as Lucius Vorenus on Rome, plays Mr. Lely who has a great scene where he whines about needing his corset to sing.

And then I glued myself to the TV screen to watch the always-brilliant-and-handsome Colin Firth in his Oscar-winning role as King George VI and The King's Speech.  Love, love, love, love, love.  Everything about this movie is well-done.  The casting, even of parts with minimal screen time like the Archbishop of Canterbury (Sir Derek Jacobi), was thoughtful and note-perfect.  The accents were spot-on (the King's and Winston Churchill's (Timothy Spall) especially).  Helena Bonham-Carter and Geoffrey Rush were great.  I also loved very small details like Firth choosing to be noticeably pigeon-toed (watch when he sits in chairs) because the King had knock-knees as a child.  To wrap up my drool-fest, I do have to say I loved the use of music during the film especially the Beethoven Symphony no. 7 in A major, it conveyed both the gravity and the drama of the first wartime speech perfectly (although, an odd choice for a British King at the start of World War II since Beethoven was a German, maybe I'll just ignore that).  What really makes the movie compelling is the insistence of Logue that Bertie's stutter wasn't solely a mechanical problem, but also a problem of the mind; getting Bertie to admit that he was terribly abused by one of his nannies and that his own family teased him for his stutter did seem to be half the battle.  The funniest scene, though, was the let's-surprise-Mrs. Logue-by-having-HRH the King and Queen-for-tea-and-not-tell-her-ahead-of-time.

1 comment:

  1. Loved the King's Speech (and that surprise tea scene) and I've been wanting to see Topsy-Turvy for years! Must find a copy and watch.