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The King's Speech

A movie directed by Tom Hooper

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Perfectly Put

  • Sep 25, 2010
Rating:
+4
THE KING’S SPEECH
Written by David Seidler
Directed by Tom Hooper
Starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter

King George VI: Waiting for me to commence a conversation, one can wait a rather long wait.

When a king speaks, he must command attention.  Though the British monarchy may be more iconography than anything else at this point in history, people will still look to their royal leader for guidance and reassurance in times of woe and doubt.   That’s a lot of pressure for someone who may never have wanted to assume the responsibility to begin with.  Unfortunately for King George VI, his birthright meant he did not have any choice in the matter.  It’s not that he didn’t think he could do it; it’s just that he wasn’t confidant enough to think anyone would care to have him. 

Forget the king; when director Tom Hooper speaks, he has my full attention.  After his impressive first feature last year, THE DAMNED UNITED, Hooper continues his journey in regal fashion with THE KING’S SPEECH and delivers the goods right from the start.  Colin Firth, who could easily garner another Oscar nod with his heartbreaking work here, is the Duke of York.  It is 1925 and he is about to address the nation.  The tension builds and by the time he gets to the podium, every ear in the land appears to be waiting to hear what he has to say.  At first, there is nothing.  What follows that awkwardness is a disjointed, passionless address that he stammers all the way through.  It may not be as epic a global failure as modern day technology allows but enough people were listening to make it seem like a public collapse that he might never recover from.

He almost didn’t.  King George VI went through many speech therapists before landing on Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush).  Logue helps George break down the years of subtle abuse one suffers as the son of a king to see that his speech impediment is the result of isolation and lack of confidence, not something particularly physical.  Their banter is at times hilarious and at others quite intense.  Their immense combined talent, along with supporting turns from Helena Bonham Carter and Guy Pearce, give THE KING’S SPEECH even more depth and flourish than Hooper already has.  Together, they created a film that will certainly resonate long after it’s said what it has to say.  

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January 09, 2011
A wonderful film. I wonder if his wife was as wonderful as she is depicted?
January 14, 2011
Good question. I take everything I see at face value. Kidding. Only half kidding though.
 
October 05, 2010
whoa. I am slowly going through your coverage of the festival, Joseph. This film sounds like it deserves a lot of attention. Nice review!
October 05, 2010
Thanks for reading, man. This film actually won the audience prize at the festival. This was the first major award that Slumdog Millionaire won on it's road to Oscar gold. Precious won it last year. This bodes very well for the film's chances during awards season. This could be Colin Firth's year.
January 03, 2011
Glad I held off on my 2010 Best list and saw this one first. Amazing film!
January 06, 2011
It is a must see indeed. Very unexpected at times and I loved the cinematography and interplay between Firth and Rush. Oscar time!
 
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More The King's Speech reviews
review by . January 03, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
4 ½ Stars: Everyone Has The Right To Be Heard!
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 …
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 . 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
   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 …
review by . February 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Even Kings have obstacles to overcome
The story opens in 1925, as the Duke of York (aka "Bertie" to his family), played by Colin Firth, is about to give a speech. It's torture for him, as he is shy and is nearly unable to speak because he stammers so badly. Still, he takes some comfort in the fact that he'll never have to be King since he has an older brother, the playboy prince known as "David." Bertie's beloved wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) engages the services of an elocution therapist and …
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Ranked #2
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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Wiki

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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Details

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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