Pros:The King's Speech is a brilliant well acted story of personal triumph and friendship.
Cons:Many will skip the film because it looks boring. It wasn't.
The Bottom Line: I thought The King's Speech would be rather boring. I was completely wrong, it was an inspirational and enjoyable film.
Now that it is out on Blu Ray, I finally got the chance to see Academy Award winning The King's Speech. I was glad I did.
I've often heard the expression, It's Good to Be King. To be a prince or a princess is a fairy tale like dream. You have wealth, power, and fame. What would be wrong with that? Since the earlier Academy Award Nominated The Queen, I learned that being a member of the British Royal Monarchy was not "all that" but contained as many difficulties, if not more than us common folk.
The King's Speech is based on the true story of Prince Albert, who would eventually take the throne after his brother Prince Edward abdicated the throne to marry a divorced woman. We first see Prince Albert (brilliantly played by Colin Firth) take the stage to deliver a speech to the British people over a new invention "wireless" which allows speechs to be broadcast live over the radio. However as Albert approaches the microphone, you can literally feel his terror in your own stomach. As he begins to stutter and finally stop, I felt a lump in my throat. Within the first minutes of the film, Firth sets the stage as a troubled man with a speech impediment. However, the film is so much more than a man who gets a speech therapist to cure his stutter.
Later his wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter looking downright pretty, a far cry from her scary roles in Tim Burton films or her portrayal of Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter films) makes an appointment for her husband. She meets with Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush, also outstanding), a reputable speech therapist. She hopes that he will succeed where others have failed. Soon Albert "Bertie" is undergoing rather unconventional speech therapy with Logue.
The film is both funny and heartwarming. The King's Speech shows the real side of being under the pressure of being a royal, as well as his side as a gentle loving family man and a kind person. If you have ever had to overcome anything, or been frustrated with a shortcoming, you will relate to the King's Speech. Myself, I have dealt all my life with attention deficit disorder. Public speaking is a fear that many people have, I can only imagine it being amplified ten fold if someone had a speech impediment.
As the film unfolds we see Prince Albert's overbearing demanding father, King George the V (Michael Gambon, not nearly as friendly here as he was as Professor Dumbeldore in the Harry Potter series). We also meet his brother Prince Edward. Guy Pearce gives an unflattering portrait of the would be king, putting his younger brother down and making fun of his stutter.
To bring the Harry Potter cast full force to the movie, Timothy Sprall plays Winston Churchill. I would say it was a nice step up from playing Voldemort's snivelling toadie, Wormtail.
We also see the friendship grow between Lionel Logue and the Prince. Slowly and painfully, Albert learns to overcome his stutter and fulfill his duties as he becomes King George the VI of England.
I really loved The King's Speech for so many reasons. The acting by all involved was excellent, especially Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. They really brought the King and his therapist to life. I liked the message that no matter what station one has in life, they can and do have problems. I also liked the message that no matter what problems one has, with hard work and determination, they can be overcome.
I watched this film with my son on my home theater. As "Bertie" at the end of the film as King George VI delivered his first speech as the King of England announcing England's declaration of war on Germany, I wanted to stand up and cheer.
I would also note that my 15 year old son did not want to watch the film because he thought it would be boring also loved The King's Speech.
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