The King's Speech (2010)

R   |    |  Biography, Drama, History


The King's Speech (2010) Poster

The story of King George VI, his impromptu ascension to the throne of the British Empire in 1936, and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch overcome his stammer.

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  • Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush in The King's Speech (2010)
  • Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter in The King's Speech (2010)
  • Colin Firth in The King's Speech (2010)
  • Helena Bonham Carter at an event for The King's Speech (2010)
  • Helena Bonham Carter in The King's Speech (2010)
  • Helena Bonham Carter in The King's Speech (2010)

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12 September 2010 | slythinker
10
| Brilliant movie!
This is a biopic about how King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II, overcame his stuttering problem. Widely considered by all but his father unfit to be king, George is reluctantly thrust unto the throne and into the spotlight after his brother is forced to abdicate. Overshadowed on the global stage by powerful orators like Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini, the King relies on the help of a little-known Australian speech therapist named Lionel Logue to find his voice and courageously lead his people into the most devastating war humanity has ever faced.

This is a powerful, hilarious and deeply moving story, told against the backdrop of a critical juncture in modern history, of the emergence of a deep friendship out of a professional relationship between two men who would otherwise never have socially interacted. The screenplay, written by David Seidler (who also wrote Tucker: The Man and his Dream), is excellent. The dry British wit is hilarious. I was literally slapping my knee during some of the scenes. Tom Hooper (Elizabeth I) does a superb job directing this movie. The buildup to the climactic finale is skillfully executed and prompted the audience to erupt into spontaneous applause. (Apparently, this also happened at the Roy Thomson Hall premiere.) Geoffrey Rush (Elizabeth: The Golden Age) does a fantastic job as Lionel Logue and Colin Firth (A Single Man) is excellent as King George VI.

I saw the second public screening of this movie at the Ryerson Theater during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Tom Hooper was present to introduce the movie. He was joined by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush after the movie ended for a brief Q&A.

It turns out that David Seidler also had a stuttering problem as a child and drew inspiration from the king's struggle. Early in his career he wanted to write a screenplay about it. He dutifully asked the Queen Mother for permission. She agreed but told him "not in my lifetime". Little did he know she would live to be 101 and he would have to wait another 30 years.

Another interesting tidbit we learned was that near the end of the shoot, the crew finally located one of Lionel Logue's grandsons, who just so happened to live about 10 minutes away from the director. They got access to Lionel's diaries and correspondence and managed to incorporate some of it into the script.

This movie is an unqualified must see.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nine weeks before filming of the movie began, Lionel Logue's grandson, Mark Logue, discovered a large box in his attic that contained his grandfather's personal papers. The box held Lionel Logue's diary, his appointment book, notes from his speech therapy sessions with King George VI, and over one hundred personal letters to Logue from the King. It also contained what is believed to be the actual copy of the speech used by George VI in his 1939 radio broadcast announcing the declaration of war with Germany (which he makes at the end of this movie). Mark Logue turned his grandfather's papers, letters, and diary over to Director Tom Hooper and Screenwriter David Seidler, who used them to flesh out the relationship between Logue and the King. Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth also read through the material for insight into their characters. The exchange in this movie between Logue and King George VI following his radio speech ("You still stammered on the 'W'." / "Well, I had to throw in a few so they knew it was me.") was taken directly from Logue's diary. Colin Firth insisted that it should be included in the movie.


Quotes

Title Card: 1925 / King George V reigns over a quarter of the world's people. He asks his second son, the Duke of York, to give the closing speech at the Empire Exhibition in Wembley, London.


Goofs

When the BBC transmitters are shown, all of the meters read zero.


Crazy Credits

In the end credit roll, Philip Clements is listed twice as Assistant Sound Editor.


Soundtracks

Camptown Races
(uncredited)
Written by
Stephen Foster
Altered lyrics
[Sung a cappella by Lionel (Geoffrey Rush) and Albert (Colin Firth) during an impromptu session]

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Biography | Drama | History

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