Showing at The Cinema, Newton Stewart

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Showing: RETURNING: Friday 11th March to Thursday 17th March

Rating: 12A

Stars: Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce,

Director: Tom Hooper

Running Time: 118 minutes

HOT on the heels of its Oscar success, The King’s Speech is set to return to The Cinema tonight (Friday) for a second round.

Handsomely shot, sharply scripted and unashamedly populist in tone, this is a well-crafted piece of entertainment built around a couple of flashy but engaging performances from Firth and Geoffrey Rush, the latter cast here as Lionel Logue, the speech therapist recruited to help the king (or Bertie, as he was known to his family) to try to conquer his debilitating speech impediment.

That speech impediment is the dramatic crux of the film, supplying moments of excruciating tension, heart-swelling triumph, comedy and tragedy alike. It also gives the film an interesting edge by focusing attention more stringently on the script and the dialogue. Indeed, so crippling is the King’s stammer that Firth’s ability to fill the film with extraneous verbiage has effectively been eliminated, ensuring that every line counts to a degree that is unusual in a mainstream movie. This immediately makes Firth’s performance much more fascinating than it might otherwise have been and the actor - who is thoroughly in danger of becoming a national treasure - seems to relish the chance he’s been given to finally have a ball playing the uptight, repressed Englishman.