If you’ve been wondering what’s become of great performances by gifted actors, here’s your movie!
THE KING’s SPEECH tells the little known but true story of the Queen of England‘s father and his remarkable friendship with maverick Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue.
Following the death of the domineering King George V and his older brother’s abdication of the throne in favor of marrying American divorcee Wallis Simpson, the crown was handed by default to George VI—known to his close friends as Bertie.
There was just one problem…and it was a big one!
Bertie suffered from a major case of mechanical difficulties with his speech.
Translation: Severe stuttering.
What WAS he to do?
England was on the brink of World War II and the new king would have to address his country by radio. A stuttering king during England’s darkest hour was out of the question. That’s when Bertie sought out unorthodox therapist Lionel Logue who used just about every trick—and somes questionable means—to ”cure” the king of his condition.
It all sounds a bit stuffy, doesn’t it?
Well, believe me when I tell you that this often comedic-drama is anything but stuffy, boring or artsy-fartsy.
What we’ve got here are two mesmerizing screen presences. Two of the finest actors clearly at the pinnacle of their careers delivering Oscar worthy performances.
Colin Firth as King George VI is at his stammering and acting best. And Geoffrey Rush portraying the rogue speech teacher is superb . Even Helena Bonham Carter as Bertie’s wife – and who is often just too over the top for my taste – keeps it real during the king’s bleak and difficult time.
Which brings me to the film’s undeserved R-rating.
It’s strictly for language. Specifically a scene in which the King during an unusual speaking exercise lets f-bombs roll out of his mouth. Kinda like spitting out a mouthful of marbles.
The film has already been nominated for 7 Golden Globe awards including Best Picture, Best Actor: Colin Firth, Best Supporting Actor: Geoffrey Rush, Best Supporting Actress: Helena Bonham Carter and Best Director: Tom Hooper.
It most likely will be the film to beat in the upcoming Academy Awards race!
As for the king’s eventual speech to his awaiting nation as guided by his unorthodox therapist: GLORIOUS!
THE KING’s SPEECH, a splendid cinematic Christmas present opening ‘limited’ on Christmas Day and raising 4 out of 5 Oscar-bound fingers.
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES on radio is Kansas City’s Movie Magazine.