Skip to main content

See also:

Cliff Notes on 'The King's Speech'

Colin Firth plays King George VI in The King's Speech
Colin Firth plays King George VI in The King's Speech

The King's Speech


For film-snobs and wannabe movie elitists, December is a time for refrencing little-known or obscure dramas and feeling superior to friends* and acquaintances who have never heard of them.

An example from this year's awards season: "The King's Speech."

This guide will allow you to decide whether or not you're interested in seeing the film while also providing the basic info you need to be one step ahead of your philistine relatives at New Year’s Eve parties.

The Plot: King George VI of Britain has to overcome both his speech impediment and his insecurities to confidently take the throne and lead England into World War II. The second son of King George V has a nearly debilitating stutter that affects both his professional life as a member of the royal family and his home life as a husband and father. His wife encourages him to get vocal therapy, but years of training have not helped him and she’s all but given up hope she meets Lionel Logue, an unconventional speech therapist and counselor with a track record of success.

The Actors: Colin Firth plays King George VI, Helena Bonham Carter portrays his wife, and Geoffrey Rush gives the stirring performance as Lionel Logue. Guy Pearce’s role as King Edward VIII and Timothy Spall’s work as Winston Churchill round out the stirring efforts of a brilliant cast.

The Good: David Seidler’s straightforward, witty and poignant script make this film a moving tale of human triumph more than a mere period piece, although it has the cinematography and costume design to hold its own in that arena as well. Both Firth and Rush do credit to the writing, adding humor, depth, and vulnerability to the historical figures they portray.

The Bad: Although the movie keeps your attention throughout, it is a nearly 2-hour film (118 minutes) and some sections drag on slightly longer than needed.

The Buzz: Colin Firth is the consensus frontrunner for Best Actor at the Academy Awards, Tom Hooper is a favorite to receive a Best Director nomination, and the film itself will certainly be one of the 10 Best Picture nominees.

The Vote: Worth your time and your money. T-t-t-trust me.

* Are friends who have no interest in movies without superheros, planets filled with blue aliens, or Megan Fox really friends at all?