Here’s my review of “The King’s Speech” in a mere four words: Brilliant! Go see it!!
Normally, the Mister and I have some trouble with British movies, because the actors are so bloody hard to understand. But with this flick, everyone had difficulty figuring out what the deuce the future King George VI, wonderfully played by Colin Firth, was saying. That’s because he grew up stammering. I can relate to this, because, although few people (including the Mister!) realize it, I also stutter.
But I don’t have to make speeches in front of an entire country, which poor Bertie must, first as Albert, the Duke of York, and later as Britain’s ruler after his brother, King Edward, abdicates the throne in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American (I’m not sure which was worse!).
Fortunately, Elizabeth, the future Queen Mother (also well acted by Helena Bonham Carter), finds Lionel Logue, an Australian speech therapist who uses innovative methods to help his patients (one of which, shouting out profanity, earned the flick its R rating). Geoffrey Rush is the perfect actor for the role; don’t be surprised if he and Firth earn Oscar nominations. Both are amazing!
Not only did Logue help Bertie, especially when he had to give an inspiring, morale-boosting speech (aka “the king’s speech”) as England entered World War II, but the two became lifelong friends. It was wonderful watching their unconventional relationship unfold during the movie.
What was especially fun for me was playing the “Which Actors Were in Harry Potter Movies” game. Carter was the evil Bellatrix Lestrange, Timothy Spall (Winston Churchill) was Peter Pettigrew, and Michael Gambon (King George V) took over as Dumbledore after Richard Harris (the revered headmaster in the first two HP films) passed away.
I must admit that after awhile I got a little nervous and was looking for Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) to suddenly appear. Seeing him might have been enough to damage the king’s speech forever!