Running Time: 118 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15
Country: Australia, United Kingdom
The stammer is normally a trait employed in movies as a lazy comedic device but at last it has a proper platform in Tom Hooper’s exploration of the travails of a royal beset with the dreaded speech impediment.
George (Firth) reluctantly becomes the King of England when his brother (Pearce – seeing how many bit parts in quality films he can fit into a career) abdicates from the throne after falling in love with the wrong bit of fanny. Considered unfit because of a debilitating stammer that threatened to destroy his public credibility, George employed the services of an unorthodox speech therapist known as Lionel Logue (Rush). The King’s Speech explores a relationship which moves from teacher and student to friends as they try to uplift a country living through World War Two. At first the story might not strike you as golddust but it is the powerful and engaging way it is told and the unfolding relationships that really grip and entertain the viewer.
Colin Firth really excels as the King as he gives a believable performance of a man plagued by very real demons. The awkwardness and frustration of his speeches really comes across, as does the vulnerability of a member of the normally stoic royal family. For the second year in a row, Firth is sure to have an Oscar nomination in his pocket as, in the last few years, the boy’s come a long way from Bridget Jones. The relationships between not only George and Lionel but also George and his wife Elizabeth (Bonham Carter) are charming, heartwarming and inspiring and a joy to follow over the course of the movie.
The personal tale and wider context of the time give the film a couple of extra dimensions and Hooper’s accessible gem is an easy exploration into British history. It seems that the royal family is back in fashion again.
It's Got: Colin Firth's Oscar worthy performance, charming relationships, an inspiring story
It Needs: A few Oscar nods
Alternatives:Elizabeth, The Queen, The Young Victoria
A…A…An excellent take on one member of the royal family’s attempts to overcome a debilitating speech impediment. Far more interesting than it sounds.