January 26th, 2011

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

"All Good Things" is not a romantic comedy

The phrase "All Good Things must come to an end" has been in the air as two more media outlets close along Federal Highway. "The Bookshop" in Fort Lauderdale will be closing their doors soon as they discount their books by 50%. Now the movie theatre in Mizner Park has closed their doors, which might have an impact upon the Downtown Boca Film Festival in April.

It is with a sense of irony that the movie **All Good Things** is based on a true story (Names were changed for legal reasons) and the lead character, David Marks (Ryan Gosling) is currently a real estate investor in Florida. **All Good Thigs** is a dark film, but one appropriate for this time.

David Marks is an errand boy for his powerful father, Sandford Marks (Frank Langella), a Manhattan Land Baron who owns the buildings of the seedy porn district before Rudy Giuliani became Mayor. As with most spoiled children of Manhattan elite, David spends his free time partying with his girlfriend, Katie (Kirsten Dunst) and indulges in cocaine.

During a minor act of rebellion towards his father, David marries Katie and managed a health food store, titled "All Good Things," in New England. Despite living in Eden, Sanford convinces his son to return to Manhattan and embrace his divine right. David willingly accepts.

From this point forward, David's soul decays. He becomes abusive towards Katie. She disappears and David relocates to Texas and begins wearing women's clothing. David befriends Malvern (Philip Baker Hall), a delusional man with dreams of grandeur.

Poor make-up dooms Ryan Gosling's performance and this flaw proves distracting. While Frank Langella and Philip Baker Hall provide solid support, **Saturday Night Live's** Kristen Wiig provides the only comic relief to this creepy tale.

In the years to come, **All Good Things** will be remembered as Kirsten Dunst's first major performance. Shedding her "Mary Jane Watson" image from the **Spider-Man** movies, Dunst ages quickly before our eyes as spiritually beaten woman. Dunst is haunting long after the movie is over.

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

The King's Speech

**The King’s Speech** has all the earmarks of a typical award nominated motion picture; it’s British, it features classical acting, it is about royalty and focuses upon a character with a physical impediment.

However if one is prejudiced with the feeling that **The King’s Speech** is a typical flick for the Oscar Award season, they are going to miss a rare humane experience about problem solving. I wish I saw **The King’s Speech** a few weeks ago, it would have made my Top Ten List for 2010.

It is 1925 anno domini and Prince George (Colin Firth) is about to make speech in a newfangled contraption called a radio microphone. George stammers and the British subjects think that the village idiot has hijacked the microphone. Fortunately for the Brits, George is not the next in line for the Empire’s throne, his big brother Edward the 8th (Guy Pearce) is.

After nine years of failed speech therapy, George and his wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) enter the office of Lionel Loque (Geoffrey Rush), a failed actor who became a speech therapist during World War I. Logue’s methodology is unorthodox, but George makes progress. By 1939, stammering George is able to lead his nation against the master orator, Adolph Hitler, as the winds of World War II are stoked.

If one has ever suffered from an impediment similar to a stammer, one will find truth with Loque’s technique. The audience witnesses the importance of developing a melody of thought when speaking. As Loque later says to the future King;

“You do not need to be afraid of the thing that you were afraid of at the age of 5.”

As serious as the subject is, **The King’s Speech** provides humor that is human. We see the British class distinctions being shattered when Loque demands that George act like a patient, not like a royal. We see George and Elizabeth share story time with their daughters, one daughter who is Elizabeth II, the current Queen of the British Empire.

When I interviewed veteran Claire Bloom (Queen Mary) during the **Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival,** she stated that it was a privilege to watch Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush work together. Both Rush and Firth have great chemistry and their scenes together are electric. However the ensemble cast featuring Bloom, Michael Gambon, Timothy Spall (as Winston Churchill) and Helena Bonham Carter cement a firm foundation for the players. “Long Live **The King’s Speech!**