I was delighted that Colin Firth won for best actor in this week’s Golden Globe Awards for his role in the spectacular The Kings Speech. When the film concluded in our local theater, the audience erupted in applause. I can only remember this happening one or two times in many years of seeing movies. Like many, I first saw him in BBC’s stellar TV production of Pride and Prejudice (1995), where he plays Mr. Darcy, now nearly a pseudonym. As he wittingly commented in a French magazine interview, “There are three women in my life: my mother, my wife, and Jane Austen.” Indeed, he’s played Mr. Darcy in the films, Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001) and its sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004). In a 2003 film, he plays Henry Dashwood from Austen’s Sense and Sensibility in What a Girl Wants (2003).
I was struck with his wit, eloquence, and sensitivity in his acceptance speech. I found it the most memorable acceptance speech, not only of the night, but of any similar award ceremony I’ve viewed with their plethora of thank you’s, tears and, sometimes, political advocacy. Several seasoned commentators on the celebrity scene picked up on this as well.
What I like best about Firth transcends his acting prowess. A man of conscience and compassion, he waxes hot at injustice. Founder of the website, Brightlife, he is engaged in the formidable struggle to bring dignity and resolution to the plight of refugees and indigenous people worldwide. A splendid actor, he’s for real as a “royal” human being.