Monday, January 24, 2011

why colin firth makes me think i could beat up angelina jolie

We finished up the Favorite Movie phase of movie club, so Maria decided we should just go see a movie, theme be damned. But The King’s Speech might be one of my new favorite movies, or at least a movie that should have made my 2010 top five. The premise sounded a little British-y and biopic-y—one of those movies where you’re supposed to care very much about something very small just because it’s a famous person doing it.

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.


Sizzle said...

Yes, it makes sense. :-)

I loved that movie too.

Kat said...

I had to be dragged into the movie but ended up loving it. What worked for me is that there is no quick transformative fix or simple answer; the speech was still very hard and it was clear that Bertie needed to work with the therapist throughout his reign. I enjoyed reading your take.

And you could totally kick Jolie's ass.

Cheryl said...

K: Yeah, it would have been really unrealistic if he'd turned into...I don't know, who's a great speech giver? MLK? Barack Obama? Although Obama has a few verbal ticks himself. Goes to show you that you don't have to be perfect to inspire.

Peter Varvel said...

"confident in his strength, but not confident in his ability to convince other people of it" - I like that.
I'm still working on convincing myself that I don't have justify who I am to anyone.

Cheryl said...

There must be a support group somewhere, right?