Who would have thought in this day and age of smug self-indulgence, supercilious self-aggrandisement, and utter self-absorption that the mainstream media could produce a film positively portraying traditional values. The King’s Speech, a film about Britain’s King George VI and his struggle to overcome a speech impediment, is taking the Hollywood film industry by storm. It’s also taking a big share of the Tinsel trade’s accolades and awards.
Will wonders never cease….A film about Queen Elizabeth’s father’s propensity to stutter is grabbing the attention of the American and British movie-goer. And don’t assume it’s just the over 50 crowd that is flocking to this flick. The King’s Speech is a box-office hit because it’s attracting all demographic ranges despite the lack of publicity and its initial limited release.
So what exactly is the source of the magic for this historical drama that offers no vicious violence, no slutty sex, and no half-baked heart throbs? Gina Dalfonzo, in her review of the film on National Review Online today answers the query quite succinctly:
At the heart of the film is Bertie’s (George VI) rock-solid sense of duty, honor, and responsibility. After his father dies and his brother takes the throne as Edward VIII, it is these values that sharply differentiate the two brothers. It’s fascinating to see how this film portrays David (Edward VIII), whose famous romance has been dramatized in films with flattering titles like The Woman He Loved. Here, instead of a great romantic, David is shallow, selfish, and even cruel.
Such depictions of manhood, family, and friendship are exceedingly rare in today’s films. And in the final analysis, I think they’re what give The King’s Speech its power. The movie is inspirational in the best sense of that much-abused word; ditching the tired Hollywood tropes about following your heart and chasing your dreams for your own sake, it offers something much deeper than the standard “feel-good movie.” If packed theaters and excited young tattooed guys are any indication, it’s something that audiences have been craving.
The King’s Speech is a fine example of how the media can portray traditional values while making lots of money. Many folks are getting sick of the selfish superficial sleaze that passes for entertainment. They’re hungry for something more substantial and more enduring. But will Hollywood get the market message?