Any other year, I wouldn’t be too thrilled about Tom Hooper’s film, The King’s Speech, garnering as much praise and as many award noms as it has, but this is not any other year. The film is a fine film, to be sure, but is it as dazzling as A Serious Man? No. As gut punchingly magnetic as There Will Be Blood? No. As breathtaking as A Single Man? Sadly, I don’t think anything will ever be, but Hooper’s film about the Duke of York finding his voice is well directed, well written, and very well acted. And for one of those damned “period” films (ugh, I cringe just uttering the term. How I loathe them), The King’s Speech simply shines. Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter are excellent as the royal couple, while Geoffrey Rush somehow manages yet another fresh performance out of the “teacher” archetype. How he can still do that to me after all these years is a small wonder. Those of you looking for something provocative need to look somewhere else, but a film that a film lover (me), a Robert Ludlum fan (my dad) and a 90 year old grandmother (mine) can all sit down and really, thoroughly enjoy is a treat, no matter how you slice it. The cinematography and the art direction were out of sight, and anyone with a wallpaper fetish will do well feast their eyes (your eyes will thank you, I promise). The King’s Speech was great, and it came out at just the right time to reap its rewards.