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10/10
Superb drama of courage and humanity
6 November 2010
I think I must have seen a different film from the previous two reviewers at Leeds on Friday. It is now two days ago and I am still feeling overwhelmed by what I saw. It is a very touching, and quite inspiring story about a man, psychologically scarred, and trapped in a situation from which he could have no escape and facing it with immense courage. It so happens that he was royal, and that was a large part of his problem- but the film isn't so much about royalty as a human story. The film conveyed very powerfully in the opening scene, the enormity of what was required of him. As the film develops, the complexities of the character are revealed. The acting is superb, especially from the three principals, and the development of the troubled and sparky relationship at the heart of the film is a joy to watch. The film is very funny and the characters have warmth and humanity. The film is well paced, and carries you along to the emotional climax, so that, even though I knew the story, it had me holding my breath. If you don't need lots of action or special effects in your film, and enjoy seeing top-notch actors at the very peak of their craft, this will be for you. You might also, as I did, gain a bit more insight into the human drama behind a significant, but relatively unexplored period of British history.

If CF and GR both win Oscars they will be more than worthy winners and if they don't then "best" has no meaning.

One further thought- anyone who thinks that this film is unsuitable for teenage viewers needs to have a long hard look at their priorities. It could prove inspirational to anyone with communication difficulties.
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9/10
Engaging and convincing
1 April 2009
I have to say that this film engaged me completely. I could feel deeply for all the characters. I loved it and can't wait to see it again. Of course if you want a plot, action and a resolution you won't find it here. But there is room for many different kinds of films for different tastes. It was not so much a story as a picture of a family having to cope with the aftermath of the tragic death of their wife/mother. Any neat resolution would have been unrealistic. The fact that it showed domestic scenes was the whole point really. Everyday life has to go on, despite the pain of loss. The city of Genoa, with its maze of alleys and slightly threatening feel, as well as its beauty, was a perfect backdrop, to a family emotionally adrift and lost, trying to find a way through their loss to some kind of normal life.I thought all the actors did a marvellous job, and were totally convincing in the way they related to each other and reacted to their situation. This was a perfect role for Colin Firth. He is able to convey so much emotionally, with great restraint and delicacy of touch.
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