‘The King’s Speech’ was the 2010 film directed by Tom Hooper. Screenwriter was David Seidler. Starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Derek Jacobi, Michael Gambon, Timothy Spall & Jennifer Ehle.
King George V (Michael Gambon) has reluctantly embraced radio broadcasting. He tries to stress to Prince Albert Duke of York (Colin Firth) that this is a skill he must also master. He’s forcing more responsibility on Albert. And that includes speeches. Prince Albert dreads this because he suffers from stuttering.
George’s firstborn Edward VIII Prince of Wales (Guy Pearce) is an irresponsible playboy. As evidenced by his scandalous relationship with married American socialite Mrs. Wallis Simpson (Eve Best). Edward is determined not to let her go. He wants to marry her despite everyone’s objections.
Albert’s wife Elizabeth Duchess of York (Helena Bonham Carter) finds someone to help her husband. Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) an Australian speech therapist living in London. The Duke feels it’s a complete waste of time. Logue makes a bet that he can get him to speak without stammering.
Logue has Albert wear headphones and listen to The Marriage of Figaro while reciting Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy. Logue gives him the vinyl recording as a gift. Of course, the Duke thought it didn’t work and leaves. That night Albert listens to the recording. Both he and Elizabeth are shocked to hear him speak without a stutter. Logue’s unorthodox treatment includes some layman psychology.
Tragedy strikes. 1936 becomes the year of three Kings. George V dies. Edward doesn’t have the throne for long. He abdicates rather than give up his lover. Albert ascends to the throne as King George VI. He continuously doubts his ability to rule.
Palace officials investigate Logue and discover he’s not a MD. They hope the new King will get rid of him. The professional relationship is severed temporarily. The elocution teacher bolsters his con-fidence. The snarky advice challenges and provokes him into action.
Everything culminates after Germany declares war in September 1939. King George VI gives a powerful and inspirational speech with minimal errors. A worldwide radio broadcast to millions in the British Empire. Logue was in the broadcast room with him. From that point on, he’s present for every speech.
The good: We are not worthy. We are not worthy. Watching the actors who brought Mr. Darcy, Captain Barbossa, Bellatrix Lestrange, Albus Dumbledore, Claudius (twice), Lieutenant Ed Exley, Peter Pettigrew and Elizabeth Bennet to life in the same movie.
The bad: The behind the scenes politics. Albert thought he was safe until Edward bailed. That action threw the Palace and British Empire into chaos. Officials doubted Albert personally. They saw stuttering as a character defect. Instead of a speech disorder or medical condition.
The ugly: A strict upbringing, traumatic events and emotional/verbal/physical abuse were the cause of the Duke’s stutter.
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