But first and foremost it’s a movie about having strength without confidence. My ex used to idealize Strong Women in this way that was always baffling and eventually maddening to me. I got this feeling she wanted to date Angelina Jolie, which she probably did and who wouldn’t*, but not the anorexic, blood-drinking Angie, rather the hero of all her Tough Girl films. Strong Women might get very quiet and gaze off into the distance at times, but only to contemplate how they would immediately overcome adversity via plentiful ass-kicking. They certainly wouldn’t snivel and cry and overeat.
But Colin Firth’s Bertie (a.k.a. King George the VI, because apparently being the king of England is not unlike being the pope) does a fair amount of sniveling. A thing that’s easy for most people is hard for him, and he’s crippled by it, although his self-doubt is arguably the origin of his stammer, so it’s a vicious circle. I’ve felt quite familiar with that circle lately. But deep down, I think he knows he’s got the smarts and commitment to lead the country (unlike his playboy brother; The King’s Speech is the most unromantic portrayal of the Wallis Simpson Affair I’ve ever encountered). It’s like he’s confident in his strength, but not confident in his ability to convince other people of it.
I’m projecting here, but that’s what movies are for. I’m tired of trying to convince other people of my strength, even though I know that the only person who’s really unconvinced is me. Except for the part where I totally know, deep down, that I could kick Angelina Jolie’s ambassador ass. Make sense?
*Me, actually. I’m a contrarian like that. She’s beautiful, but, I don’t know, maybe I’m just on Team Aniston or something.