Sunday, 23 January 2011

The King's Speech

I finally saw The King's Speech this afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed this gentle insight into King George VI's struggle with a speech impediment that made it almost impossible to deliver any form of public address. The movie focuses on the working relationship and ultimate friendship between Bertie - Duke of York/George VI (Colin Firth) and an Australian speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), plus also paints a loving relationship between Bertie and his wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter).

It's a subtle film, marvellously acted, that also explores the impact of live wireless broadcasts on the public role of the royal family, the abdication of Edward (Guy Pearce) in favour of Mrs Wallace Simpson, and the lead-up to World War II. The scene where Bertie as the King has to deliver the 'we are now at war' speech over the wireless, coached and supported by Lionel using all sorts of devices, is a very moving climax.

The poignancy of Bertie's plight is so beautifully portrayed as he strives to meet the expectation of all around him, while combating such a human frailty as a stammer. Everyone is talking about this film and there's a good reason why. I hope Colin Firth gets an Oscar to add to this week's Golden Globe.

1 comment:

  1. Agree, great movie and great role of Colin Firth. Still, I found one strange inconsistency. During one of first logopedic session, it has been proved, that Bertie can read fluently Hamlet soliloquy. So why this simple trick has not been used to read the WWII speech in the BBC studio???