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70 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant on Every Level!, January 30, 2011
This review is from: The King's Speech (DVD)
THE KING'S SPEECH is one of those rare films that rely on the brilliance of the actors to bring a story/screenplay alive. But the success of this extraordinary film does not stop there. This re-telling of history as written by David Seidler and as directed with enormous sensitivity by Tom Hooper, as captured on film by cinematographer Danny Cohen glows as a background for some of the finest acting before the public today.

The film opens in 1925 as King George V (Michael Gambon) is beginning to fail, leaving the heir apparent to the throne at the time of his death to be Edward VIII (Guy Pearce), a man more concerned with love with the twice divorced Wallis Simpson (Eve Best) than he is with the Royal Lineage. Once the now senile George V dies, Edward VIII takes the throne but soon abdicates to marry Wallis. This passes the throne to the tender but severely stammering Prince Albert (Colin Firth), a man terrified of facing his beloved countrymen because of his speech defect - a defect that his wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) has encouraged him to correct through a series of speech doctors. Elizabeth hears of Australian émigré Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), a poor wannabe actor who gained his knowledge for correcting speech defects teaching returning WW I victims in Australia. Prince Albert (Bertie) and Logue meet and begin therapy by Logue's tough rules before Albert takes the throne. Through a series of rigorous exercises and lessons Logue helps the Prince learn to speak, finally accompanying him to the throne as a speech therapist and giving Bertie (now known as King George VI) the courage and strength to rise to the occasion of leading England through WW II.

Though the above is a brief synopsis of the story, the real message of the film deals with the gradual building of a close friendship between Bertie and Logue - or between royalty and commoner. The manner in which Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush create this memorable relationship represents some of the finest acting in cinema history. The very large cast includes such luminaries as Claire Bloom as Queen Mary, Derek Jacobi as Archbishop Cosmo Lang, Jennifer Ehle as Logue's wife, Timothy Spall in a brilliant turn as Winston Churchill, Anthony Andrews as Stanley Baldwin, and Roger Parrott as Neville Chamberlain. Alexandre Desplat provides the original music allow heavy portions of Beethoven's 7th Symphony and Emperor Concerto (with Steven Osborne as piano soloist). This is a perfect film, well deserving to win the Oscars for every category for which it is nominated. Grady Harp, January 11
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 31, 2011 11:32:15 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 31, 2011 11:35:01 AM PST
Wonderful, wonderful review! I also appreciated that you haven't forgot to mention the supporting casts, whereas their artistic efforts made the completion of this masterpiece.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2011 7:01:13 AM PST
Grady, excellent review as usual. I am curious how much the film addresses the former King Edward VIII's alleged Nazi sympathies. In October 1937, the Duke and Duchess visited Nazi Germany, against the advice of the British government, and met Adolf Hitler at his Obersalzberg retreat. The visit was much publicised by the German media. During the visit the Duke gave full Nazi salutes.[ He was ostracized by the Royal Family and sent to places like Bermuda and Australia. Is that part of the film, or an entirely different story?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2011 6:58:44 AM PDT
An entirely different story. This is about friendship, overcoming disabilities and abuse.....no politics.

Posted on Apr 30, 2011 6:59:50 AM PDT
excellent review!!! exactly my sentiments!!

Posted on Dec 30, 2011 5:51:45 PM PST
K. Alphs says:
Bravo!
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Grady Harp
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Location: Los Angeles, CA United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 78