Posted tagged ‘The King’s Speech’

Hurray For Academy for Awarding The King’s Speech Best Picture – Boo to the Academy for Using The King’s Speech as Best Picture Background

February 28, 2011

I gave in and watched a lot of the Academy Awards.  (I’m a sucker for ball gowns.  Anne Hathaway did her beautiful bubbly best to satisfy this weakness.)

The King’s Speech was a terrific film and one of the few I’ve actually seen so I was really glad that it swept up so many awards.  As a less- and-less secret tapdancer, I was especially happy to hear Colin Firth’s eloquent references to joyful bodily impulses.   (And as a long-time fan of Colin Firth–Team Darcy all the way!–I was really very pleased for him.)

But the use of George VI’s actual early World War II speech as a background to the difficulties of choosing a Best Picture winner was truly appalling.    Who came up with that idea?  What were they thinking of?    Is Hollywood really so solipsistic (and tone-deaf) as all that?    I have to hope that it was a small committee, a completely tasteless few.   Pretty goofy.

Public Bravery/Kings/Gun Craziness

January 16, 2011

In the wake of the Tucson shootings and Obama’s inspirational memorial speech, and now on the eve of Martin Luther King’s birthday, it is hard not to think of the bravery required to put one’s self in the public eye, much less to take a stand.

Just after writing that sentence, I read about Colin Firth winning a Golden Globe for The King’s Speech, which brings up another kind of public bravery.  I don’t mean overcoming the stutter so much, as George VI’s role in World War II, particularly his remaining in London during the Blitz, where he and the Queen Elizabeth–the Queen Mother–narrowly missed death by a bomb on Buckingham Palace.  “I am glad we were bombed,” Queen Elizabeth reportedly declared, “we can now look the East End [previously heavily bombed] in the face.”

I’m not here comparing the bravery of the different Kings, only noting that the requirement of bravery in public life is not a new phenomenon.

I will note, however, that it took the air force of an entire nation (Nazi Germany) to attack King George VI, while in the U.S., a lone gunman seems to suffice.

It’s a truism to say that Americans love their guns.

Just before writing all those sentences above, I read about the Massachusetts’ acquittal of a gun fair organizer on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of an 8 year old from accidentally shooting himself in the head with an Uzi machine gun.  The defendant Police Chief Edward Fleury’s firearms training company had co-sponsored the annual Machine Gun Shoot and FireArms Expo at the Westfield Sportsman’s Club, near Springfield, Massachusetts.   The 8 year old boy was shooting only under the supervision of another boy — an unlicensed fifteen year old.  (Apparently, his father who had taken him to the fair and was videoing the incident was also there.)  The Uzi machine gun kicked back when the 8 year old fired it, shooting him in the head.   The event’s ad read “It’s all legal & fun–No permits or licenses required!!”

The ad also said:  “You will be accompanied to the firing line with a Certified Instructor to guide you.”

Neither of these statements turned out to be true.  (It is thankfully not actually legal to arrange for an 8 year old to fire a machine gun in Massachusetts.)

These facts did not seem to overly influence the jury, however.  Accidents happen.