Movie Review: ‘The King’s Speech’

[Update -  Seeing as The King's Speech just won the Oscar for Best Picture at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, we though we'd re-run Germain's rave review from November. Review starts after the jump.]

Everyone knows the American Film Institute as the people who do the 100 Years series. But they’re much more than that. They’re a worthy organization who work not only preserve great cinema but also to teach a new generation to make great cinema of their own. Also, each year in they host their own film festival called AFI Fest which, in the past two years, has distinguished itself from most other major film festivals by giving away all tickets for free.

The location of the festival is pretty special, too, especially for film fans. It’s located smack dab in the middle of Hollywood, so films play in some of the most famous movie theaters in the world. Take, for example, Friday night. I got to check out the highly buzzed about political period piece The King’s Speech in Grauman’s Chinese Theater, preceded by a tribute to not only director Tom Hooper, but stars Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush too, who were all in attendance. It was a very special evening thanks in mostly in part to a fantastic film. Read the full review after the jump and check back over the course of the week for more coverage from AFI Fest. Read More »

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A huge hit and award winner at Fantastic Fest 2010, Bedevilled, as well as the inspiring tale of a deaf MMA fighter, Hamill are among the audience award winners at the 2010 AFI Fest in Hollywood, CA.

Bedevilled, directed by Cheol-soo Jang, won the award in the New Auteurs section while Hamill, directed by Oren Kaplan, won in the Breakthrough category. Other audience award winners include Boy, directed by Taika Waititi, in the World Cinema category as well as Littlerock, directed by Mike Ott, in the Young Americans category. Read more about the films after the jump. Read More »

After years in development, David O. Russell’s The Fighter had its world premiere Tuesday night at the AFI Fest in Hollywood, CA. On hand to introduce the film was producer and star Mark Wahlberg who plays Micky Ward, a down on his luck Irish boxer from Lowell, Massachusetts whose family  – including older brother and former boxer Dickie Eklund (Christian Bale) – holds him back every chance they get. And though the trailer makes the films seem like the atypical underdog true story, The Fighter almost doesn’t need any boxing to be an effective and emotional drama. Read more about it and see a video blog including myself, Peter Sciretta (also from /Film, of course) and Alex Billington from FirstShowing after the jump. Read More »

Film festivals are about three things. First is seeing huge, buzzed about films that no one has seen yet. Second is about discovering movies no one has heard of yet. And the third is seeing films no one will ever see again. After three days at the AFI Fest in Hollywood, CA, I’d hit one film in each category. The big film was Oscar contender The King’s Speech (read our review here), the discovery was the inspiring true life story of a deaf mixed martial artist called Hamill (pictured above) and the film no one will ever see is called Pulsar, a boring Belgian love story mixed with technological paranoia. Read reviews of the latter two films after the jump. Read More »

gordon-brown-and-obama

U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown recently visited the United States, where he spent some quality time with President Barack Obama. As is usual in such visits, the two of them exchanged gifts. Brown’s gift to Obama? A pen holder made from wood from the anti-slave ship HMS Gannet. The gift was both classy and priceless, showing an understanding of the significance of Obama’s ascendence to the presidency. Obama’s gift to Brown? A set of 25 DVDs.
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