The King’s Speech

Most famous for being the man who became King because his brother ran away with a divorcee, King George VI was a greater man than anyone ever gave him credit.

Shy, sickly and embarrassed by his stammer, George was the middle child of King George V and Queen Mary, overshadowed by his elder brother, Edward and bullied by his nanny. It is hardly surprising that this down-trodden man was a reluctant leader.

The King’s Speech focuses on the relationship between George VI (Colin Firth) and his speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Jeffrey Rush). Leader of a country at war with the Nazis and their sympathisers, Bertie, as George VI was affectionately known, is forced to overcome his shyness and debilitating stammer to deliver the speech which would take his country to war.

While the story of Edward and Mrs Simpson and his subsequent abdication from the throne is the more compelling royal story, this tale of the current Queen Elizabeth’s father who took the role because his brother couldn’t, is definitely the better story.

It is believable that whatever caused his stammer plus the pressure of being a royal, all led to George’s speech paralysis. George VI was so much more than a king with a stammer. He was a man who was proud of his country, loved and respected his Queen (Helena Bonham-Carter) and despite what his family would have him believe, was proud to be the man he was.

History has documented the story of George VI and many cinema goers will know the outcome of this movie. Thanks to the acting brilliance and passion from Firth, Bonham-Carter and Rush, an accomplished screenplay and the direction of Tom Hooper, this is no dull film simply documenting facts.

Despite the fact you may know the outcome, this is edge-of-your-seat cinema.

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