The King's Speech
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After the death of his father King George V (Michael Gambon) and the scandalous abdication of King Edward VIII (Guy Pearce), Bertie (Colin Firth) who has suffered from a debilitating speech impediment all his life, is suddenly crowned King George VI of England. With his country on the brink of war and in desperate need of a leader, his wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), the future Queen Mother, arranges for her husband to see an eccentric speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). After a rough start, the two delve into an unorthodox course of treatment and eventually form an unbreakable bond. With the support of Logue, his family, his government and Winston Churchill (Timothy Spall), the King will overcome his stammer and deliver a radio-address that inspires his people and unites them in battle. Based on the true story of King George VI, "The King's Speech" follows the Royal Monarch's quest to find his voice.
Candidates for president and prime minister choose to run, but kings rarely have a choice. Such was the case for Prince Albert, known by family members as Bertie (Colin Firth), whose stutter made public speaking difficult. Upon the death of his father, George V (Michael Gambon, making the most of a small part), the crown went to Bertie's brother, Edward VIII (Guy Pearce), who abdicated to marry divorcée Wallis Simpson. All the while, Bertie and his wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter, excellent), try to find a solution to his stammer. Nothing works until they meet Australian émigré Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), a failed actor operating out of a threadbare office. He believes Bertie's problem stems from emotional rather than physiological issues, leading to a clash of wills that allows the Oscar®-winning Rush (Shine) and the Oscar-nominated Firth (A Single Man) to do some of their best work (in a neat bit of casting, Firth's Pride and Prejudice costar, Jennifer Ehle, plays Logue's wife). All their efforts, from the tense to the comic--Bertie doesn't stutter when he swears--lead to the speech King George VI must make to the British public on the eve of World War II. At a time when his country needs him the most, he can't afford to fail. As Stephen Frears did in The Queen, Tom Hooper (HBO's Elizabeth I) lends vulnerability to a royal figure, showing how isolating that life can be--and how much difference a no-nonsense friend like Logue can make. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Making Of Featurette
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What happens when you put in the disc into the LG BD590 is the movie trailers will play but when it gets to the point it should either load a menu or run the movie, it justs blanks the screen.
Colin Firth plays the Duke of York, "Bertie" who is the second in line to the throne. He loathes the public spotlight and public speaking because of his stammer. His wife, Elizabeth decides to engage an obscure Australian whose address lists nothing more than his name, Lionel Logue and the words "Speech Defects." Logue, played by Geoffrey Rush, sets the terms and conditions of the visit. After several failed attempts with doctors and an impatient King George V, played by Simon Chandler, she puts her royal conditions aside to accept his. But their first meeting does not go well as the Duke is demoted to an equal of a commoner. Faced with the prospect of a second meeting or the humiliation of public speaking he reluctantly submits to Logue's lessons and therapy.
Two events raise the ugly specter of speaking to his subjects. His father dies and his brother, David gives up the throne to marry a divorcee. Logue is there to assist him again despite the effort of the Archishop of Canterbury (played by Derek Jacobi) who attempts to throw an adjustable spanner in their relationship. Will it destroy the trust "Bertie" has developed for "Lionel" right before the coronation, or has a bond of friendship developed that is too strong to cast aside?
Colin Firth draws a depth of emotion I never thought capable in what I had previously thought of a waxed figure from previous performances. The timing of his stammers and taut facial expressions captures the approach-avoidance conflict of a noble wanting to fulfill his royal obligations versus running and hiding from any public appearance.
Geoffrey Rush uses his eyes to convey his depth of feeling that he keeps under control, peering, evaluating, what makes his charge stammer so badly. You can see him searching for what cannot be seen but is yet to be known. His keen perception is revealed with spontaneous challenges and a quick wit and calm demeanor that contrasts with that of his patient.
Helen Bonham Carter plays the Duke's adoring and supportive wife. (After her husband's death she would simply be known as the Queen Mum). Clair Bloom plays the Duke's mother, and Guy Pearce plays his older brother, the Prince of Wales, the soon to be Edward VII, and sooner to be Duke of Windsor. He is portrayed in a less flattering role when dealing with his younger brother's affliction. Every performance is masterful.
This is a movie that is not to be missed. It has received numerous nominations for Academy Awards that will be revealed later this evening. I hope you will spend one evening in your home or theater to watch a command performance. It is a movie I would watch again.
In this one, a Bertie sings!
In fact, give a listen:
Well, there was supposed to be a you tube of the king's actual speech of September 3, 1939, but Amazon apparently doesn't want them listed in the review.