Where Angels Fear to Tread

I’m honestly now sure what I thought about this one. The middle-aged widow from a rich family moves to Italy, is seduced by a suave young Italian, has a baby and dies. All along, the family tries to figure out how to retain its honor. There were some interesting characters in this (the son & daughter of the rich family), and some which made no sense at all (the Italian guy, and the Helena Bohnam Carter character – who was never really explained). In the end, there were some memorable scenes, and memorable lines, but as an overall cinematic experience, it was lacking a bit.

The King’s Speech

How is it that I could be moved to care about the personal shortcomings of some monarch from over half a century ago? Because the story is presented as a human story… one of triumph over adversity. And it’s so well done, that anyone might relate to it.

This movie had a lot of elements done right. One in particular struck me – the lighting.  In many of these period movies, we are presented with indoor scenes that are perfectly lit. But, reality isn’t that way. These grand old buildings are dark places reliant mostly on windows for light. Instead of creating fake lighting, the filmmakers figured out the best way to shoot with the available light (or faked it in more subtle ways). This combined with a liberal use of wide-angle shots developed a unique mood… as if the environment was another key character.

One thing I didn’t get at all though: In his first session with “the Doctor”, the future King’s stuttering is cured via a bit of a trick. Why couldn’t this same trick be used in the movie’s last scene? I was sitting there wondering why in the world they didn’t simply do this. It would not have made a very climatic movie arc, but certainly would have solved the problem at hand.