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The King's Speech

A movie directed by Tom Hooper

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Everyone Has The Right To Be Heard!

  • Jan 3, 2011
Stories about friendship and courage. They are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser whose stories have been told in various different ways. It is just something that people need to be told from time to time that I doubt anyone would grow tired of it. Well, director Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech” won the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival People’s choice award and it tells about the true story of a King George VI who overcame something very significant in the face of a chaotic world event. The film also tells the story of a friendship that surpasses a huge royal divide; as a King and his subject find something special that defined the word ‘courage’.

Faced with a that requires him to interact with a country, the future king of England, George VI (Colin Firth), called by his family “Bertie”, had always suffered a speech impediment that made his public life quite embarrassing for him and his family. This severe stutter had always made him feel rather insecure, unconfident and not even the treatments that he had gone through was able to help him. With his wife, Elizabeth (played by Helena Bonham Carter) by his side, Bertie decides to take a leap of faith as he agrees to be treated by an aspiring actor and professional speech therapist named Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). Lionel finds a man filled with bitterness and astonishing nervousness, as Bertie is expected to perform duties that his handicap may hamper him. The two take on a path to healing, a building of confidence as the two begin to forge a unique friendship. Now fate plays its hand, and when Bertie’s womanizing brother, Edward (Guy Pearce) is made king, Bertie is forced to take a more active role in politics and overcome his timid nature.

            Colin Firth as King George VI and Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen Mother in "The King's Speech."

           Colin Firth as King George VI in "The King's Speech."

          Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue in "The King's Speech."

Director Tom Hooper with writer David Seidler takes a piece of little known history as they go forth and makes a portrait of George VI that combines his public image, his political demands and his intense private shame. The story is given a lot of room to maneuver as we get a chance to take a look at the events that led to him becoming king, as well his own personal history. Bertie had lost his sense of self as a bullied young prince somewhere in this journey; he has always suffered this severe stutter that emasculate his sense of authority and his time in the media spotlight. What becomes is a struggle within Bertie as fate had played him a hand that forces him to take a more active role in more than England’s political dealings.

The script does make Bertie the central focus as he goes about his efforts to overcome his handicap and face his own fears of public speaking. What happens is a compelling piece of personal reflection and a definition of the word ‘courage’. Courage is more than facing up to what you believe, or facing foes in a war. Courage means that it becoming true to oneself and overcoming one’s handicap; the word allows one to perform one’s responsibility and be the needed light that gives others this virtue. After all, I am a firm believer that there is nothing to fear but fear itself. One may think that having a stammer is no big issue; well, try this one--you are a part of the royal family and your countrymen rely on your image to uplift them. There is also a subtle commentary about Hitler’s misleading speeches that it seems like no matter how insane a message may be, a powerful voice and communication skill can uplift the masses.

                       Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush in "The King's Speech."

                      Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth Carter in "The King's Speech."

                      Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter in "The King's Speech."

Besides, Bertie’s struggles, the film takes aim at the friendship between the prince and a man who helps him overcome his speech issues. Lionel is great believer in the power of speech and he gives Bertie a caring control. He gives the prince ‘tough love’ as he calls him by his nickname Bertie (not your majesty), seeing as the only way Bertie may respond to his daily diaphragm exercises is by making themselves equal. Lionel is out not just to help Bertie with his speech but he is also out to build his confidence, he demands that they do the exercises daily, and that Bertie should be committed to his therapy. He inspires his patient to verbalize his frustrations. The script is filled with strong dialogue that is quick, funny and clever; as the writing makes the scenes of Lionel and Bertie appear engaging as they try to overcome their own discomforts and form a sense of conviction.

It is to be noted that the performers were quite excellent in their portrayals. The two managed to form a believable chemistry that proved to be the film’s main draw. Colin Firth would rightly deserve an Oscar nomination; he exudes that feeling of royalty though all buried under a sea of vulnerability and lack of confidence. His delivery on the dialogue is just divine; I felt really invested in his character. Geoffrey Rush embodies most of the film’s comedic banter that provokes some needed humor in Firth’s character. Rush was fantastic as the simple man faced with a huge responsibility in helping a king. Helena Bonham Carter was excellent as Elizabeth; she exudes that sense of authority and elegance, but at the same time, maintaining a sense of humility.

                      Colin Firth in "The King's Speech."

                     Helena Bonham and Colin Firth in "The King's Speech."

The direction by Hooper does some intriguing use of odd camerawork to express a sense of being alone and afraid; he sets his camera as if Bertie was dwelling in the sidelines, with the background taking most of the camera shot during some close ups. I thought it was a symbolic representation of Bertie’s sense of unease, and that all people are watching him. The exchanges between then King George V and Bertie were a little too quick and lacks some impact on its narrative. It did what it was supposed to do, as it proved to inject some needed groundwork for Bertie’s insecurities and his coming position of power. The film’s last act portray a tumultuous time in history (the second world war) as King George VI is faced by his greatest fear; speaking to his subjects live with the use of a radio microphone.

“The King’s Speech” does miss some opportunities as I was more hopeful that it could have dealt with things on a global scale during a period in World War II. But I guess the film was more aimed at the interplay between two individuals; one who is royalty by birth and one who has learned from his experiences. It is about friendship, courage, and honor, as two men learn from each other. After all, everyone has a right to be heard.

Highly Recommended! [4 ½ Out of 5 Stars]

Poster art for "The King's Speech"  Poster art for "The King's Speech"

4 ½ Stars: Everyone Has The Right To Be Heard! 4 ½ Stars: Everyone Has The Right To Be Heard! 4 ½ Stars: Everyone Has The Right To Be Heard!

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January 10, 2011
This is definitely on my 'to see' list, and that's a pretty high honor considering that only about 3-4 movies each year get on that list! :)
January 11, 2011
It is a must-see, Anastasia and I have a feeling you will really enjoy it. The cast was stellar in their performances.
January 09, 2011
I saw this movie recently and I agreed with you totally. When people clap at the end of the movie, as they did at this one, the film is something special.
January 10, 2011
Yes, this was one of those movies that channeled something uplifting. This was a great movie!
January 06, 2011
Sounds good, Prince William ;-) 
January 06, 2011
it is, my friend, it is. :)
January 06, 2011
Oh, I forgot about the Count! Looks like there'll be a royalty feud over a woman, LOL...
January 06, 2011
Nah, I don't care about royalty or rank, I just like the title. ; )
January 07, 2011
In that case I'd prefer to count $$$ :)
January 04, 2011
YYYYYYEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS, you know I loved this one, and it is not only because it was a good film but because of my girl Helena Bonham Carter. I LOVE HER.
January 04, 2011
You too?! God, seems like you, me and Orlok will be fighting over her! LOL!
January 06, 2011
Now boys, stop fighting. Well, what can I say? The Prince will get married this year! *Hint, hint* First, he must make a speech!!!
January 06, 2011
Helena is hot.... :)
January 03, 2011

We both know I'll wait until this comes to DVD to see it and when I do see it, it's for one reason...
Helena Bonham Carter
January 03, 2011
You know, she's the reason why I sat in a small theater....are we the only ones who think she is very hot?
January 03, 2011
I don't know. I doubt it. Maybe she only attracts freaks and weirdos. She is married to Tim Burton, so there's evidence that may be the case. : )
January 03, 2011
yeah, we are pretty much weirdos LOL! I think she is underrated as an actress.
January 03, 2011
She was great as Ophelia in Zeffirelli's "Hamlet" despite my overall dislike of that version. Mel Gibson just did not work in that role. Anyhow, check out my latest list for further evidence of me being a weirdo. : )
January 03, 2011
as if we need further convincing that you are a weirdo? LOL!
January 03, 2011
Well, I figured further examination into the extent of my weirdness was required. 8-P
January 04, 2011
Alex is in love with her too...we will be fighting over her soon LOL!
January 04, 2011
I'll take on the winner of that fight. LOL!
January 06, 2011
I'll wager it's either the Prince or the Count will win. As for Alex, oh dear, poor Alex!
January 06, 2011
January 06, 2011
Have at thyself, blackguard. For by my hand, thou shalt perish in greatest agony, fiend o' ages!
January 06, 2011
vile miscreant, what would thou do when mjolnir determines thine dark wyrd?
January 06, 2011
"Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!"
January 06, 2011
"Upon the fornication 'tween a troll and an orc, a waffle doth rise to haunt the walls of thine abode!"
January 06, 2011
First of all, that doesn't even make sense. Secondly, why is that in quotation marks when no one ever said it? LOL!
January 06, 2011
It was an original Groopak...hey, insults don't have to make sense LOL!
January 06, 2011
If it was original, then why was it in quotations? Mine was an actual quote.
January 06, 2011
it was an original "Groopak", I am woopak get it? LOL
January 06, 2011
ok, this conversation is nuts. LOL!
January 06, 2011
Yeah, I think you've been drinking. LMAO! When are you going to check out my list?
January 06, 2011
just high on cold medicine...
January 06, 2011
I was the other day. I just can't seem to rid myself of it completely. My throat is still scratchy.
January 07, 2011
Cold medicine? What cold medicine? U just need COKE with a pinch of salt! ;-)
January 07, 2011
I don't drink sodas. Too sweet.
January 03, 2011
It sounds like you really got into this movie!! Sounds interesting enough; I may have to check this one out Woo!
January 03, 2011
There was nothing good at the mainstream side (last mainstream one was TRUE GRIT) , so I am going indie films for awhile. I wanted to see the depressing BLUE VALENTINE but it wasn't playing in my area yet, so I went for this one. This was marvelously acted and directed; simple story and yet very significant. Thanks for the read!
January 03, 2011
Brenda, It is Aerin's Birthday by midnight... :)
January 03, 2011
Happy Birthday to you, Happy birthday to you!! Hope you had a wonderful birthday Aerin - it was nice of your son to give you a birthday cake!! That was special indeed!! Hugs to you Aerin!!
More The King's Speech reviews
review by . April 23, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I was not familar with the story of George VI until I saw this amazing film. Apparently George had a terrible stuttering problem until one day his wife took him to the home of a commoner in the basement floors of a building. At first George is reluctant to give the man a chance. His father and just about everyone else had sent him to "experts' with no success. One such "expert" wanted him to smoke to "sooth the lungs" and talk with marbles in his mouth. None of these things worked.    George …
review by . January 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
There is a pivotal moment in the King's Speech that just speaks volumes about what the movie is about and what it means.  It's a scene where Bertie (also known as a King George VI)I--a man with a stammering problem--is standing there with Lionel, his speech therapist, and Lionel puts a headset on him and plays music and instructs Bertie to read a passage out of Hamlet.  While the music is playing you can't hear him, he can't even hear himself.  Lionel records it for …
review by . January 30, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
A King's birthright
It was a little slow at the beginning but the movie picks up lots of momentum towards the end. The true story of a royalty's speech impediment. Had he been just another prince, then it's no big deal. But the moment that his brother abdicated the throne and he was made king, it's a major problem!      What made this movie success is not so much the story nor is it the overcoming of a handicap. True, they are part of what make a story. However, I believe it is the acting …
review by . January 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Don't miss this movie just because its not gotten a wide release.  Here in Raleigh, NC, it isn't playing at any of the multi-screen multiplexes, which actually gives you a great excuse to see a movie in an old-fashioned single-screen movie house like the Rialto in Raleigh (an excellent movie-going experience in itself).      And what a movie this is.  It is certain to get nominations for best movie, actor, and supporting actor.  While I think the movie …
review by . December 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The British monarchy tale "The King's Speech" led Golden Globe contenders Tuesday with seven nominations, including best drama and acting honours for Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush.Other best-drama nominees were the psychosexual dance thriller "Black Swan," the boxing saga "The Fighter," the sci-fi blockbuster "Inception" and the Facebook chronicle "The Social Network." Nominees in the Globes' other best-picture category, …
review by . February 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     There are few stories without an enemy; and few films without a flaw. Yes, history has proved me somewhat wrong and there are indeed MANY great, flawless films, but seldom do they come along each weekend. So when they do come along, there is reason to celebrate. "The King's Speech" is an absolutely fantastic portrait of the Duke of York, who was King George V's son. If there is a villain in this very story, it is the flaws of the Duke/Albert. He is to become …
review by . January 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   Speech impediments are a horrible thing to deal with, I’d imagine. And I’d imagine they are far, far worse if you’re the titular leader of 1/4 of the world. That’s the situation faced by King George VI in The King’s Speech. George VI (Colin Firth), called “Bertie” through most of the film, was never meant to be king. His brother, David, was the one who was meant to be king, but no one, including his father, seemed to feel he was up to the …
review by . December 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
“The King’s Speech” is the one of the few films I know of to humanize the embarrassment of stuttering. It tells the story of Prince Albert, Duke of York, who, following the death of his father and the resignation of his older brother, became King George VI and had the unenviable task of leading England and its many colonies into World War II; although he had a voice and had plenty to say, his debilitating stammer made it virtually impossible to actually say it. Imagine what that …
review by . January 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Well if this isn't Oscar bait I don't know what is. A movie about the British monarchs that comes out in December. The only thing that is holding it back from pure gold is that it is actually doing well in the box office, people are going to see it.      It seems that come award season a couple movies always make it across the pond and infiltrate the system. This movie follows the same formula as the ones before it. It humanizes the monarch while still telling a story …
review by . January 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   What an extraordinary piece of filmmaking. Tom Hooper took the interesting story of King George VI of Britain (Colin Firth) struggle for regaining trust in his own voice. Knowledgeable of King George's stammer, his wife, Queen Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) appealed to some local and relatively unknown speech therapist by the name of Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). As a short history brief I could add that the Duke of York by the real name of Albert Frederick Arthur George became …
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About this movie


The King's Speech is a British historical drama film directed by Tom Hooper from a script by David Seidler. The movie won the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival People's Choice Award.

The film stars Colin Firth as King George VI and Geoffrey Rush as speech therapist Lionel Logue, who helped George VI overcome a stammer. Filming commenced in the United Kingdom in November 2009. The film is set for a limited release in the United States on 26 November 2010

The British monarchy tale "The King's Speech" led Golden Globe contenders Tuesday with seven nominations, including best drama and acting honours for Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush.Other best-drama nominees were the psychosexual dance thriller "Black Swan," the boxing saga "The Fighter," the sci-fi blockbuster "Inception" and the Facebook chronicle "The Social Network."
Nominees in the Globes' other best-picture category, for musical or comedy, are the Lewis Carroll fantasy "Alice in Wonderland," the song-and-dance extravaganza "Burlesque," the lesbian-family tale "The Kids Are All Right," the action tale "Red" and the romantic thriller "The Tourist."
"The Social Network" and "The Fighter" tied for second with six nominations each. Among nominations for ...

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Director: Tom Hooper
Genre: Drama, History
Release Date: 24 December 2010 (USA)
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: David Seidler
DVD Release Date: April 19, 2011
Runtime: 118 min
Studio: The Weinstein Company/Anchor Bay Entertainment
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