September 7, 2010 / 4:50 AM / in 8 years

"King's Speech" wins early Oscar buzz at Telluride

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Has Telluride done it again?

As the film festival wrapped its 37th year in Colorado’s San Juan mountains Monday, the prevailing wisdom was that the event had launched yet another serious Oscar contender in the British royalty drama “The King’s Speech.”

The film, which stars Colin Firth, Helena Bonham-Carter and Geoffrey Rush, had its world premiere as a sneak peek on Saturday morning, five days before its higher-profile screening at the Toronto Film Festival.

After several additional screenings and a rare standing ovation Sunday night as part of a companion tribute to Firth, who plays King George VI struggling to overcome a stammer to rally his nation for war, the film has provoked talk of widespread awards recognition.

While other films also attracted partisans, “The King’s Speech” was seen as having the broadest support across a broad array of awards categories.

Firth rode a similar wave last fall when Tom Ford’s “A Single Man” rolled through Venice and Toronto, and the Weinstein Co. picked it up for distribution in December. The company plans a similar late-November release for “Speech,” which was directed by Tom Hooper (“The Damned United”).

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