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<< Entertainment >>

New Movie Review

"The King's Speech"

Drama and Biopic. Rated R. 1 hours, 51 minutes.

Photo byThe Weinstein Company

Colin Firth in the Weinstein Company's The King's Speech - 2010.

by Michael Stark
mjstark333@msn.com

|

King George VI has a duty to speak for his people, however it is quite difficult for him to do so because of his stammer. The King goes through many speech therapists to correct the problem, but nothing works…until he meets Australian Lionel Logue.

The film starts with King George VI, then known as the Duke of York, or Prince Albert, unable to get through a speech in front of the Wembley Stadium crowd due to his stammer.

Meanwhile, the world is falling in love with the radio, and the King of England addresses his subjects over the airwaves every Christmas. Once King George V passes away, and Albert’s older brother, David, abdicates the throne in order to marry a twice-divorced American woman, Albert finds himself on the throne, with World War II looming.

Luckily, Albert’s wife, Elizabeth seeks out Logue, who agrees to help the future king, but insists it be on his terms and in his office. Albert is skeptical, but finds that Logue’s methods are working, and the two form a close friendship. The King’s Speech culminates with the King making his first radio speech to all of his constituents as England prepares to enter WWII, with Logue right beside him guiding his through it.

The film is both inspirational and surprisingly funny. King George VI is making progress for the first time in his life with a difficulty he simply cannot understand. And Logue is the definition of a self-made man, building his practice simply by knowledge he’d gained in his travels and becoming successful in doing so. As for its humor, there is one scene in particular that stands out. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that the language used in that one scene is the sole reason the film is rated R and not PG or PG-13.

The King’s Speech rests on two actors, Colin Firth (King George VI) and Geoffrey Rush (Logue), and they perform admirably in what may go down as the best performances for each.

Firth is a lock for a Best Actor nomination because he masters the king’s speech impediment, while Rush will earn a nomination for Best Supporting Actor because he is absolutely delightful, injecting humor into the film while playing a serious role.

The rest of the supporting cast is also effective with Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth, Guy Pearce as Albert’s brother, David, and Michael Gambon as King George V.

The King’s Speech may feel clichéd, but it is still an enjoyable ride, due to the excellent performances from Firth and Rush. Those two alone are worth the price of admission.

OVERALL RATING: B+

(Editor's Note: The King's Speech is nominated for 12 Academy Awards including Best Picture).

 

Photo credit: The Weinstein Company

The King's Speech movie poster

 

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