With Oscar buzz rampant, and many nominations and wins already under its wing, the cast/ensemble of The King’s Speech‘s was honored at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, with Geoffrey Rush deservedly receiving the esteemed Montecito Award.
Geoffrey Rush, who emotionally, physically and viscerally conveyed his character, delivered the role of his lifetime as “Lionel,” the noble, humble speech therapist, assisting Colin Firth (King George) to remarkable heights.
Screenwriter David Seidler was inspired in his childhood by his hero, King George VI, as he heard the king deliver stirring wartime speeches to the free world despite a profound stutter, while everyone listened critically to each word he uttered.
The glorious evening in Santa Barbara was held at the historic, majestic Arlington Theatre — an ideal venue — and featured Geoffrey Rush’s immense, impressive body of work: ranging from The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Shine and Mystery Men to Shakespeare in Love, Les Miserables and Quills. Quite the Renaissance man and consummate “professional actor” (in his own words), Rush will next appear on stage in Brooklyn, NY, in an adaptation of “Diary of a Madman.”
Another major event at the SBIFF was the Modern Master Award, bestowed upon Christopher Nolan and presented by Leonardo DiCaprio. Nolan’s pure genius incorporates music, storyline and high tech special effects to express important messages for moviegoers to interpret and nurture within.
Other SBIFF highlights included a delightful Q&A with Phil Rosenthal following a screening of Exporting Raymond, which proves that the charisma and impeccable comedic timing of Everybody Loves Raymond is universally beloved; as the sitcom is “taken to Russia” with a whole new cast and crew! Of special note was the premiere of two wonderful independent films: Patisserie (Coin De Rue), which won the Best East Meets West Cinema Award and the documentary Troubadours, winner of the Santa Barbara Audience Award (now playing at the Sunset Laemmle 5 in Los Angeles).