Question of the Day

  • Jan. 27th, 2011 at 7:17 PM
beth_shulman: (tv: cj cregg)
So I saw this movie... 

...and I have to say that it is the most understated movie I have ever seen. It isn't conscious of its own grandness (though it is grand) and it doesn't flaunt excellence (though it is excellent). It is deliberately quiet and simple. It is slow-paced and it is lovely and what's more, most people seem to recognize that.

So why is it, then, that understated wonderful movies are called "quietly brilliant" while understated wonderful books get called "boring"?

Yes, it's a bit hard to prove a point using one movie as an example, but the thing that struck me most watching The King's Speech was the deliberateness of the pacing and the construction. It was built slowly on purpose. It is quiet on purpose. And yet no one that I know called it boring. There are so many books structured the same way and yet so many people I know consider them boring. Is it the movie's visuals? Is it some sort of inherent fascination with period drama or the British monarchy? Because all I know is that the Printz awards have passed and The Cardturner was robbed. (And yes, I'm still a little annoyed at that.)

(Then again, it is up for discussion in SLJ's Battle of the Books! The list is fantastic.)

I think it's interesting to note that I knew exactly what would happen going in (in one line: king overcomes stammer to lead people) and yet the movie still wasn't boring. I think it's because despite [ profile] jade_sabre_301 saying that idea > plot > character, I still look for character first. The King's Speech is populated with real people. You never see the acting. Even Geoffrey Rush with his over-the-topness never descends to caricature.

See it! It is absolutely worth it. (Oh, and read The Cardturner. That's worth it, too.)

ETA: From page 223 of All Clear: "After dinner, they listened to the King's speech on the wireless. 'This time we are all in the front line and the danger together,' he said in his stammering voice." Oh how I love you, Connie Willis.


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