December 11

Not good year for republican movement – TV critic

By common consent it hasn't been a good year for the Australian republican movement,” writes Evan Williams in his pay TV review of the year  ( The Australian 10-11/12) .

“Too many bad opinion polls, too many political distractions, too many successful royal tours.

“And,” he adds “ the cause wasn't helped by the release last Christmas of The King's Speech, Tom Hooper's Oscar-winning film, which is having its first showing on pay television this Sunday (7.30pm, Showtime Premiere).

“There's a case to be made – and I'm not sure the film isn't making it – that Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) saved the free world from disaster.

“ It was Logue who helped the unhappy king George VI (Colin Firth) overcome a debilitating stammer.

“And if Logue hadn't succeeded, if the king had been unable to deliver his wartime broadcasts, if the monarchy had remained silent during Britain's darkest hour, if the British people had heard nothing from their king to rally and inspire them, Hitler may have won the war.

{youtube}wmaRnKcj-zQ{/youtube}  “All right, I'm only half joking. Apart from making a good case for the power and prestige of the monarchy, this is a profoundly moving film about the conquest of disability and the power of the human spirit, and much of it is very funny.

“Firth is superb as the determined Bertie, and I doubt if Rush has done anything better. It's a performance brimful of vigour, wit and authority, driven by a brusque, all-conquering charm.” 


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