What Makes a film British?
A British film has many different aspects to it and all of them have to come together to create a British film, but, it doesn't have to use all of them. These aspects include, a setting in the UK or about people from Britain abroad, a predominantly British cast, a story line with an aspect of British life (past, present or future) and a British author/director. Recent Films include 'The Kings Speech' which is about the story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it. This is a good example of a British film because it is based in Britain, it is about British history, it has a predominantly British cast and a British director.
Exhibition Issues - Box Office in the UK
The UK's mainstream media doesn't usually pay much attention to cinema box office, but a likely exception is the inspiring performance of The King's Speech, a plucky-underdog success story that's as headline-friendly as it gets. Even distributor Momentum Pictures' wildest expectations were exceeded with a £3.52m opening weekend, including modest previews of £227,000. A rousing true tale about an English monarch triumphing over adversity that stars Colin Firth. Clearly there are elements appealing to the older, upscale British heartland. But when you consider the opening grosses of Slumdog Millionaire (£1.83m), Calendar Girls (£1.88m), Atonement (£1.63m) and Pride and Prejudice (£2.53m), it's clear The King's Speech has taken a leap forward, even allowing for inflation.
Exhibition Issues and reviews: The films reception
From critical film reviewers on various different websites and newspapers there were various different opinions and most of them were positive. It was nominated for 14 BAFTA's and 11 Oscars including best picture, best director, best supporting actor and actress, best screen play, best editing, plumiest consonants, loveliest vowels, and best medicinal use of swearing.
Critical Review of The King's Speech on YouTube
"The King's Speech, the story of how King George VI overcame his stammer, was just a letterbox delivery away from never getting made"
The films production team posted the script to the film through Geoffrey Rush's letter box in order to hopefully gain his role as Lionel Logue. After unsuccessfully gaining his involvement after sending numerous emails they thought this was the way about it. The films producer Gareth Unwin stated that the film needed some key casted roles to be a success and that is why they went to so much trouble to attract Rush's attention towards this film.
"This flies against every fibre of me knowing how the business works. I ended up with a four-page email from his manager tearing me a new one. But it finished off with Geoffrey saying he liked it and that we should talk. We wouldn't have got to talk to Geoffrey at that stage otherwise. Joan was audacious in her thinking and it did pay off."
Gareth Unwin from Bedlam Productions spent 5 years prior to the start of production developing this story with David Seidler. “ I knew we had an upper level that we had to aim for,” says Unwin of his need to find co-producers for the ambitious project.
The team were keen to make a period drama that didn't feel mainstream. “It’s uplifting without being cheesy,” says Canning. “The Weinsteins gave us one really great note early on, which is, it’s all about the friendship. We honed it to focus on that.”
Tom Minter (US Writer) sent Joan Lane the play script. As a fellow friend who was also a writer of the play’s author Seidler, Tom recommended Joan as a well-connected London-based producer of theatre. Having previously sent the play to another London based colleague, who had not been able to attract interest in it, Seidler wasn't sure what to do following this - so he followed Tom’s advice.
Lane gave a copy of the script to Simon Egan from Bedlam Productions to try and gain his interest in production. Thankfully he saw potential and took an option of screenplay adaption. Following that, Lane organised a rehearsed reading in which would have director Tom Hooper's parents in the audience. This was a tactical move of Lane as she introduced The Hooper's to David Seidler the Plays author, so he could exchange contacts with Tom's father to gain contact with Tom himself.
Distribution And Marketing Issues
When marketing the film The British Board Of Film classification planned to label the film was a 15+ because of the explicit language in a particular scene. However after many attempts of protest by director Tom Hooper the film was reclassified as a 12A.