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THE KING’S SPEECH (2010)

Why are you here then – Because I bloody well stammer!

The must-see-movie of this year and I have finally managed to view it. And it sure did live up to all the expectations. The whole movie just reeks of quality – from the beginning to the end. No wonder it won 4 Oscars including screenplay, leading actor and directing.

          What’s he saying? – I don’t know but… he seems to be saying it rather well

The King’s Speech tells a story of King George VI (Colin Firth), who reluctantly becomes the King of England after his brother King Edward VIII (Guy Pearce) abdicates due to a scandalous marriage to American divorcée Wallis Simpson. King George VI or Bertie – to his friends – has been suffering from stammer all his life. At that day and age stammer was regarded as a weakness – a king with a stammer was considered to be an unfit leader for a nation. After trying every kind of treatment Bertie’s wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) finds an eccentric speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). Suspicious Bertie meets with Logue and after a couple of turbulent meetings starts Logue’s unorthodox treatment course. During that course of treatment Bertie and Logue develop a strong bond that becomes a lifelong friendship. England is facing war and its people are desperate for a strong leader. Thankfully Logue’s treatments are working and the whole country gathers around their radios to witness the King’s speech, which will unite them in battle and inspire them through the inevitable war.

Kinging can take a lot of time…

This film has such an impressive cast. Colin Firth is marvellous as the troubled King George VI. He sounds like his has been stammering all his life. Mr. Darcy is all grown up! Funnily enough Jennifer Ehle, who plays Mrs. Logue, was Elizabeth Bennett to Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (1995). Mini-series with that famous lake scene of wet Colin Firth…

                                 Is the nation ready for two minutes of radio silence?

Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter give equally impressive performances. Costumes are spot on – like everything in this movie.

Ham; not palm

David Seidler, who wrote the screenplay, wrote a letter to Queen Mother a several years ago asking for permission to make a movie out of King George VI’s story. Queen Mother asked him not to do so during her lifetime, as the memories were too painful for her. Seidler respected her wish and the movie was made after Queen Mother passed away. David Seidler also got very lucky as private journals of Lionel Logue were found a short time before the movie started filming, thus they could be incorporated into the script and give valuable insight into the private relationship between Bertie and Logue.

                                 Do you know any jokes?

At the end of the day this is a bromance story. As Colin Firth recaps the movie: Boy meets therapist – boy looses therapist – boy gets therapist.

If you have somehow missed The King’s Speech you must watch it and enjoy moviemaking at it’s best.

Waiting for me to… commence a conversation, one can wait rather a long wait.

GOING THE DISTANCE (2010)

You know like when you get really drunk and you just
kinda black out and you don’t know how much time has gone by

I certainly wish that would have been the case while watching Going the Distance. It just had one too many NYC – SFO trips in it. Maybe I did not understand the premise of this movie because I have never been in a long-distance relationship. Fair enough; but do you still expect me to believe that Justin Long’s character could not find a job in the music industry in California? Then why not take a temporary job as – let’s see – a dog walker to be able to spend some quality time with Drew Barrymore’s character.

The movie itself was lightly entertaining. Drew Barrymore and Justin Long did a good job as a couple who just were not able to live in the same city for more than 6 weeks.

You take my breath away

So there is Erin (Drew Barrymore) who has six weeks left on her internship in a New York newspaper, when she meets Garret (Justin Long). Garret is a newly single – we are talking just off the boat – Top Gun loving / Jonas Brothers hating regular guy. They have a one-night stand, which develops into a summer romance. Six weeks is up. Pop quiz: What do you do? You go long distance even though both of them have doubts. But they have fallen in love and this is just too good to pass. What follows is several trips between NYC-SFO. Garret’s two friends Box (Jason Sudeikis) and Dan (Charlie Day) cheer him on – hilariously. Erin on the other hand receives advice from her overprotective married sister Corinne (Christina Applegate). After a while, everybody comes to the inevitable realization that long distance must be made into short distance. Only if there would be one job available on the West Coast…

  This is not really working

Geoff LaTulippe based the screenplay loosely on the long-distance relationship experiences of his friend. Drew Barrymore was drawn to the script because she thought it was funny. She saw true emotional investment inside the comedy. Barrymore has also said that she likes playing strong female characters. Erin certainly is a person who deeply loves her sister, but at the same time is a little tomboyish and can hang out with the guys. What also made this movie appealing to Barrymore was that it’s an R-rated love story, which are not that common. I agree with her that Going the Distance is a more realistic and adult love story and not based on a fairy tale setting. I just did not find it that funny!

Peep Show

Nanette Burstein, who directed the movie, has a strong background in documentaries and commercials. Justin Long found this exciting, as it meant that Burstein would film as realistic as possible portrait of the two main characters. Burstein herself took this directorial debut because she thought that many people could relate to this love story.

The Boxer Rebellion “If You Run”

Going the Distance does have a realistic feel about it. It does also have some funny lines. As the poster says, it’s a comedy about meeting each other halfway. Unfortunately the movie does only go halfway – its weakest link being the screenplay. Strongest on the other hand is the cast with stellar performances.

Disease free and light – indeed

THEY JUST DON’T MAKE MOVIE STARS LIKE THAT ANYMORE

Paying homage to Elizabeth Taylor (1932 – 2011)

                                                                                 

“My Mother says I didn’t open my eyes for eight days when I was born but when I did, the first thing I saw was an engagement ring. I was hooked.”

Sadly after a long battle with serious health issues Dame Elizabeth Taylor passed away yesterday. This truly is sad; she was an icon – movie star in the true meaning of the word.

                                                               “Nobody tells me who to love, or not to love, who to be seen with and who not to be seen with”

She will be well-remembered for her long career that included 54 movies and 2 Oscars. We will also remember her for her turbulent private life – her eight marriages, battles with alcohol, drugs and weight. But also for being a true fashion icon with ever-changing looks and style. Camera just loved her!

Elizabeth Taylor was born in Hampstead, London in 1932. She was only 12 years old when National Velvet (1944) made her into a movie star. Her other memorable silver screen highlights include Father of the Bride (1950), Giant (1956), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Butterfield 8 (1960), Cleopatra (1963), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) and her final big-screen appearance in The Flintstones (1994). In the 50’s she was voted The Most Beautiful Woman in the World.

With Paul Newman in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Elizabeth Taylor was the first actress to have full control of her own image in the movies. Before studios could release any publicity stills, they had to be approved by her. She could also approve her own make-up, hairstyles and costumes.

When she was filming Cleopatra in London in the 60’s she stayed at the Dorchester and had the following food items flown to her: chilli from Chasen’s in LA, stone crabs from the coast of Florida, smoked salmon from Barney Greengrass in New York, steaks from Chicago, shrimp creole from New Orleans, spare ribs from St Louis, white asparagus from the French countryside and fresh linguine from Genoa, Italy. What a meal, I say!

                                                         With Montgomery Clift on the set of A Place in the Sun

Elizabeth Taylor remained close friends with many of her costars. She even married one of them. She also saved Montgomery Clift’s life in 1956, after he left a party at her house and smashed his car into a telephone pole. She removed his shattered teeth from his throat, thus prevented him from choking.

Elizabeth Taylor did a multi-episode appearance on General Hospital, which she was a huge fan of, in 1981. I love this blooper reel of her scenes. It shows her as a grande dame, but also as a person who can make fun of herself.

It’s ELIZABETH TAYLOR!

Elizabeth Taylor will also stay in our memories as of one of Hollywood’s earliest and most vocal advocates and fundraisers for AIDS and HIV patients. She started to raise awareness of the disease after her Giant costar Rock Hudson died from AIDS in 1985.

                                                           With Rock Hudson, James Dean and George Stevens on the set of the Giant in Marfa, Texas

Debbie Reynolds remembers Taylor, “She was the most glamorous and sensuous star of our generation. No one could equal Elizabeth’s beauty and sexuality. Women liked her and men adored her — my husband included — and her love for her children is enduring. She was a symbol of stardom. Her legacy will last….”

                                                          With Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher in Las Vegas during the early 1958

Michael Wilding (Elizabeth Taylor’s son) said in a statement after her passing away, “We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it. Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts.”

“I’m a survivor. I’m a living example of what people can go through and survive”