in entertainment, Uncategorized

The King’s Speech Was a Labor of Love

There’s this sentiment going around the internet that The King’s Speech is some kind of Oscar bait movie. And let me clarify that I think there’s a difference between “a movie that Oscars usually get awarded to” and “Oscar bait.” The latter implies some sort of cynical targeting, as though the film was written, directed, and/or produced specifically just to garner awards.

Devin Faraci’s response to this year’s Oscar nominations is characteristic of the tone:

The answer to who got nominated: The King’s Speech. I have not yet seen The King’s Speech, and I hear it’s very good. But I have stayed away from the film because it looks genetically engineered to take home Academy Awards, and it’s well on its way – the film received 12 nominations, making it the front runner at this year’s Oscars. So now I’ll trudge down the street to catch the film at my local theater, where it’s been playing for weeks, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it well enough. I’ll just never forget that this thing is like the shark of the movie world: it exists only to consume. Awards, in this case.

Reading something like this, it’s easy to suspect that The King’s Speech’s awards success was assured from the outset. I don’t think this is the case. Rather, listening to director Tom Hooper tell the story, it’s clear that creating the film was a labor of love, and that without some creative, elaborate patchwork of financing deals, the film (whose screenplay, by the way, was originally supposed to be a play) never would have come together.

Here’s KCRW’s interview with Hooper. Hooper’s segment begins about 8 minutes in.