Toronto Film Festival Report: The King's Speech with Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush
09.10.10 by REELZ
It's not uncommon for Oscar buzz to begin at the Toronto Film Festival — such was the case for Slumdog Millionaire, Precious, Crash, and Hotel Rwanda. This year, one of the movies that's being mentioned as an awards contender is The King's Speech, which tells the story of England's King George VI (Colin Firth) and the speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) who helped him overcome his impediment. As part of our coverage of the festival, ReelzChannel correspondent Matt Mauro sat down with both actors.
The King's Speech is the topic of Matt's latest blog.
Hello from Toronto Film Fest once again! Today's had its share of ups and downs, but I can't complain!
Let's start with the downs, because they were all this morning. I've learned the hard way that allergies don't leave you when you leave the U.S. They follow you and get even worse ... ugh! So after waking up and looking forward to a run in the city, I popped a couple allergy pills and went back to bed — thankfully things were a little bit better then. I've also learned the hard way that not all ATMs take American debit cards. I needed Canadian cash and it would take two minutes; instead it took running around a square of the city and 20 minutes, but alas, I have Canadian dollars.
Now onto the more important stuff and the reason I'm here: movies! This morning was the junket (which is press/reporter talk for interviews) for the movie The King's Speech. You probably haven't heard of this yet, but you'll want to see it. It's based on the true story of England's King George VI who had a stuttering problem and the quirky Australian outsider who cures him of it. Colin Firth is the king and Geoffrey Rush (whom you probably know as Pirates of the Caribbean's Captain Barbosa) is the Aussie, and they do a fantastic job of bringing these interesting and deep characters to life, without crossing over to the hokey side of movies.
So here's how a junket works — each of the actors and the director (in this case, Tom Hooper) is in a separate hotel room and reporters wait outside and go in one-by-one and for about four or five minutes. And I'll be honest, it's a very awkward situation and I feel like a cow getting herded into a pen. They're getting asked the same questions over and over and the reporter's getting shipped from one room to the next. Needless to say, it's a great chance to hear the actors and directors talk about some really cool stuff. Today I learned that Geoffrey's Rush's character had left some old diaries in his attic and the actors got to use them to get a firsthand look at what the characters went through. Colin Firth talked about trying to make himself stutter and how difficult it was to find the right balance with that. He doesn't want to make it over the top, but it can't be too subtle. I think he hit it just right. When an actor plays someone with an impairment, it usually goes one of two ways: incredible or terrible. Daniel Day Lewis was incredible in My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown (and won an Oscar for it) while other actors have plummeted trying. Firth definitely does an outstanding job here, and it's certainly not a stretch to say he and Rush could very easily see Oscar nominations soon!
Watch Hollywood Dailies, Monday - Friday 6:30PM ET / 3:30PM PT, for more Toronto Film Festival coverage. ReelzChannel is on DirecTV (channel 238), DISH Network (channel 299), and your cable system.