“ Genre: Drama / Suitable for 12 years and over / Director: Tom Hooper / Actors: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Michael Gambon, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce ... / DVD released 2011-05-09 at Momentum Pictures Home Ent / Features of the DVD: PAL „
Never usually do I purchase a dvd at full price. If I really want to see something alot I will go to the cinema (I.E Les Mis was must see for me!) otherwise I will simply wait for the price to fall on something and then get it, usually from Amazon.com!
However when this was on at that cinema I was ill so when it was released I did order it from somewhere or another for about £11.00. I am a huge Colin Firth fan and I have always felt he got played down as an actor and was underrated and at the time people people were raving about his performance in this and that he would win Oscars and BAFTAs and the likes so me, well I had no hesitation in getting it as soon as I could plus I love history and anything to do with the royals and was always fascinated by the whole Edward and Mrs Simpson relationship!
Film Only Review:
Bertie (Colin Firth) has a really bad stammer. Its so bad at times it frustrates him and he really cant do any public speaking which in his role as a Prince really hinders him in his life. After a bad delivery of a speech to the public we see him and his wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) trying to find and try all sorts of cures for it. After trying out many quirky remedies Lionel is found (Geoffrey Rush). The relationship between Bertie and Lionel is sometimes fraught with Lionel at times, in Berties eyes becoming too familiar with him and Bertie is of course being used to be treated with respect........ after all he is a Prince but he does commit to try because he really does want to cure his stammer and we see a friendship between two quite different characters, with very different lives unfold.
In the meantime the King falls ill and dies leaving his eldest son to be King Edward VIII (Guy Pearce). The only problem with this is that Edward is in love with a women twice divorced and he seems hell bent on marrying her. People try to convince Edward to keep her quiet but Edward has other ideas but as head of the Church it really isn't on that Edward could or should be with her, leaving him with the decision to continue be King or be With Wallis Simpson. Of course, and I don't think I'm spoiling anything because its a historical fact, he abdicated the thrown and the gauntlet was thrown down to Bertie to become King leaving us of course with the Queen Mum (Queen Elizabeth) but how did he do and did he become a good leader and ditch his stammer?
I'm very much in two minds about this film. First off it was shot really well and overall the cast did a great job with the story. Colin Firth came out of this one spectacularly well and really showed off how good he was as an actor and won many awards, and rightly so. It was nice to see a story about our Queens parents and there life though how accurate it is we will never know mind you!
However the film dragged quite alot for me. This isn't an edge of your seat drama, it just tells a tale however I did feel for Bertie (who did of course become King) at times though this for me is a Sunday afternoon, snuggled in bed kind of watch where your brain can be switched off!
This has a rating of 12 and a run time of 113 minutes but for me, apart from Colin Firth this film edges on quite dull at times sadly! Worth a once watch though!
This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
Okay, so after seeing this film won the Academy Award for Best Picture I thought I would check it out. Must be good right? Well, I bought the DVD and turned it on, I remember the day well: I'd been to Ye Olde Public House the Friday night before and had one (or maybe more) too many ales, and was now feeling the dreaded after-effects. So I slid the disc into my laptop and lay down to try and recover with an Academy Award winning film about King George VI's (Played by Colin Firth) speech impediment that made him incapable of carrying out public speeches. Anyway, I turned it on and within 5 minutes I was bored to death, and subsequently turned it off.
The DVD was never touched again.
By now you may be thinking "What is this clown on about? You can't review a film off the first 5 minutes" and, of course, you would be entirely correct. A few weeks ago me and my girlfriend saw that it was on TV (funnily enough she'd had the exact same experience as me and turned it off early on), so we decided to give it a go because there was nothing else on.
Honestly, I can't stress enough how much of a mistake it was to turn it off on first watch. My girlfriend generally doesn't like films (Much to my annoyance), but even she sat and watched the whole thing completely engrossed. Colin Firth is absolutely exceptional in it and truly deserves his Academy Award for Best Actor, as well as his Golden Globe. Overall the film is really good value for it's 4 Academy Award's that it won and Helena Bonham Carter is her usual brilliant self (Never seen her put in a performance any less than excellent).
The storyline follows Prince Albert, who is 2nd in line to the throne behind his brother, and his troubling speech impediment. He has struggled through all the conventional speech therapy, and some more unusual ones, to no avail. Eventually Queen Elizabeth, his wife, stumbles across a recommended speech therapist Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush) in a dingy London office, and convinces her husband to see him. Lionel's methods are extremely unconventional, and what follows are scenes packed full of fairly humorous, often awkward dialogue and action between the two. I'm just skimming over the storyline quickly here as I don't want to go too in depth and spoil it. For some reason (again, not disclosing much) Prince Albert's brother gives up his crown, meaning Prince Albert must become King George VI, even though he is still unable to give public speeches. Hitler is on the rise, the country needs a leader, without being able to speak King George VI can't provide the country with that. It later comes out that Lionel isn't a qualified speech therapist at all, but continues helping King George with his problem, until eventually it is time for him to address the country and reassure them of their safety ahead of World War II. The speech that follows it tear-jerking and brings an astounding film to an end.
I'm sorry I turned you off on first watch. Forgive me...
It was a horrible, wet and windy Sunday afternoon - we had no plans, so decided (well I decided) to break up the typical blokey stereotypical Sunday of football in the afternoon and Top Gear in the evening, by watching a film that we hadn't seen before.
I browsed the DVD department in Asda and picked up "The Kings Speech" on dvd for £5 - absolutely perfect film for me - hopefully my hubby and daughter would enjoy it too.
The Kings Speech - released in 2010
This film charts a very famous period in British history, but from a different angle..
The scandal of the 1930's which was better known in other countries at the time, particularly America, than in the United Kingdom was when the old King, King George V was getting very frail and his heir, the future King Edward VIII was involved in a relationship with an American lady, who was already divorced once and still married to her second husband.
British press did not publish a great deal of this relationship, so the majority of the British public did not realise what was going on at the time - but the hierarchy of the British Royal family, the prime minister, senior politicians and Arch Bishops most certainly did realise what was going on and the scandal of the heir to the throne, the (sooner rather than later) future King being so involved with an American divorcee (and adulteress) was a scandal that was rocking the monarchy.
When King George (played by Michael Gambon) died, early in 1936 - Edwards VIII's companion/lady friend Wallis Simpson was very evidently a lady that was "here to stay" as the year went on, she filed for divorce against her second husband leaving the path clear for Edward and Wallis to marry.
The British Society, Religous and Legal infrastructure simply would not tolerate the King marrying a divorcee - Edward had to abdicate if he wished to marry Wallis - he would not have his coronation, there would be another King instead.
The second in line to the throne was Edwards brother, Prince Albert - The Duke of York, (played by the wonderful Colin Firth)
Albert was already, very happily, married to Elizabeth (Helena Bonham-Carter) and they had two daughters, Albert was a good man, a fine British prince, he was never expected to become King and lacked the confidence that his brother had - Albert (Bertie) had spent his life suffering from a stammer.
This film, The Kings Speech, follows Albert - (to become King George VI) and the progress he made, in being able to make speeches and speak publicly to the nation, with his speech coach, Lionel Logue, played by Geoffrey Rush.
Lionel uses methods and familiarity with the King that help him overcome the difficulties that have blighted him since childhood.
I have edited this review as I have missed out some important details (As I hope you can tell, I am very passionate about this period of British history and possibly have got carried away explaining the background to this story, of which I personally find very important and very interesting)
The Kings Speech was directed by Tom Hooper, and written by David Seidler . It was released on the 7th January 2011 and went on to win Seven Academy Awards and the main actor, Colin Firth who played George V1 won a Golden Globe - as you can see this film was highly critically acclaimed.
The young prince suffered from speech problems throughout his younger years, he was not ever expected to become King and the speeches that he was to make in the very early years of him being King were obviously going to be a major problem to him.
The film opens showing the, then Prince making a speech at Wembley Stadium in 1925 - the poor man struggled throughout this speech, Colin Firth acted this part wonderfully, the awkwardness and effort made in this speech made superb acting.
Queen Elizabeth, our late Queen Mother, could see that the ways of helping her husband were just not working and under the cover of "Mrs Johnson" her assumed name, she approached Lionel Logue and asked if he would help her husband.
Lionel was not a conventional voice coach, in fact as it turns out later in the film he wasn't actually a qualified voice tutor at all. Initially the King did not appreciate his methods and his familiarity - he insisted on calling the King Bertie - a name only used within his close family. He needed them to work together as equals.
Lionel's efforts paid off and Bertie progressed. This film charts the friendship, the ups and downs that occurred between Bertie and Lionel as they together prepared for the coronation and the onset of World War II.
My opinions of this film? Frankly I thought it was brilliant - Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter were nothing short of amazing together - the star of the film for me was Helena, I could actually imagine her being the Queen Mother - that woman was born to play starring roles in period drama's.
I did learn a little from the film, as I did not understand prior to watching it quite how much King George suffered with his speech - there was an insight in the film where there was an argument between King George, when he was still the Duke of York and his brother who was at that point the King - where his stammer was brought into the conversation in a very negative way and it made you think that possibly the young prince may have been teased and bullied by his older brother which would not have helped the situation at all.
Although there were many characters in the film, not many were focussed on - the main people being Bertie and Elizabeth and Lionel.
A superb film, left me wanting to watch and learn more about George VI
Swotting up for this review, I checked out a list of crap jobs, and I was a little surprised to find "English Monarch" wasn't in there. I mean seriously, who would want to be King or Queen? I tried making this point recently, a little naievely, to a Scot, but he wasn't very sympathetic. I wasn't trying to make a point in a imperialist or royalist way, I just genuinely feel sorry for the Queen. Poor old boot. Someone born into extreme poverty can make it to wealth and fame through a combination of hard work, talent and luck; someone born into extreme privilege will find it virtually impossible to make it to anonymity. I mean, do you ever get the feeling the Queen actually enjoys being the Queen? She's still at it now, plugging away at public duties with that strange tight-lipped smile and hoping Prince Phillip will keep his mouth shut, when she should be retired like all the other codgers and at home watching the snooker.
"The King's Speech", Tom Hooper's handsome, Oscar-heavy historical drama, touches upon some of the loneliness and frustration suffered by a normal human being trapped in this most public of gilded cages. Colin Firth plays Prince Albert, the Queen's father, or Bertie to his close family and friends.
The Prince has a problem which makes his public duties a particular torment for him - he suffers from a terrible stammer. The film opens with his humiliation at the 1925 British Empire Exhibition, when his stuttering in front of a packed Wembley stadium brought him to an embarassing standstill.
Bertie's been to various quack doctors with various outlandish "cures" without success, and gives up, seemingly happy to let his father, King George (Michael Gambon) and flash, dashing brother Prince Edward (Guy Pearce) hog the airwaves. However, his wife Elizabeth locates another therapist, an Aussie failed actor operating out of a shabby basement, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush).
Logue is a generous and loquacious character; his own failure as a Shakespearean actor, implied to be because of a prejudice against an Australian accent on a thespian playing the Bard, doesn't outwardly shake his self-belief. Logue is relaxed in the presence of Royalty, and his methods unorthodox - as is his insistence on calling the Prince by the familiar "Bertie"
Bertie is resistant to Logue's methods at first, until he is goaded into reading a soliloquy from Hamlet while listening to music to drown out his own voice. Logue records it, and when the Prince eventually plays it back, is stunned to hear the stammer all but gone.
The Prince and the Therapist become good friends, and Logue gently coaxes the possible pyschological reasons behind the impediment. In these scenes, we see a glimpse of a lonely boy with health problems, tormented by his nanny and terrified of his strict father.
The film only gains any sense of dramatic urgency when the King dies, and his older son takes the throne. However, the new King's relationship with Mrs Wallis Simpson (Eve Best) is a grave concern - as head of the Church of England, which opposes divorce, he cannot marry a divorced woman. Meanwhile, war is approaching, and Bertie is left in the lurch when his older brother abdicates and runs off with Mrs Simpson. The climax is the nervous King's radio address to the Empire as Britain declares war on Nazi Germany...
"The King's Speech" is thoroughly a respectable, entertaining, rainy Sunday afternoon movie. It is about as square as a film can get, and is just the kind of film the Academy loves throwing skiploads of Oscars at.
Colin Firth has spent much of his film career playing outwardly square characters, with a hint of passion smouldering away beneath the surface. Here he does pretty much the same, just with extra misery and awkwardness because of the stammer, which seems convincing enough. However, he probably deserves his Best Actor doorstop for the moments when the Prince's pent up frustration and anger bubble to the surface, usually provoked by Logue.
Geoffrey Rush as the therapist puts in some of his least irritating work here, portraying a warm-hearted family man with a huge hint of mischief in him; he hides his personal disappointment and relishes pricking the Prince's wounded pride.
Helena Bonham-Carter is delightful as the young Queen Mother, lively, beautiful and down-to-earth, and it's refreshing to see her do some ordinary acting outside of one of Tim Burton's increasingly dreary freak shows.
Michael Gambon makes the most of a relatively small role as the ageing King, a hard, stern man, product of an older, more rigid era and monarchy. Guy Pearce enjoys himself as the despicable older brother, although his plummy English accent veers dangerously close to parody.
Derek Jacobi crops up as the Archbishop, the closest thing the picture has to a villain, and almost everyone is virtually flawless, in a square old-fashioned way. Apart from Timothy Spall, horrifically miscast as Winston Churchill - it's a broad impression, and would seem more suited to an episode of "The Fast Show".
Tom Hooper handles the material well, keeping the twee pace of the film bubbling along nicely. He doesn't go for anything flash, and gives his actors time to explore their characters and relationships with each other. In an attempt to convey the suffocating nature of the Prince's condition, he goes for a lot of low angled close ups, getting his lens right up Colin Firth's nostril. It works some of the time.
Other times, it looks like the kind of shot you might go for in a film if a character has woken up in a deserted hospital, and ran outside to discover he's the only person left on the planet.
The overall production looks very well-heeled, although in a muted, modest way - dark greys and blues are the colours of choice, and the most striking image of the entire film is the sofa in Logue's consulting room.
"The King's Speech" is effortlessly enjoyable, although it's not very exciting and doesn't really say anything about anything. I would give it four stars, except the more I thought about it afterwards, the more it angered me. This is a film where we are supposed to stand up and cheer that the King managed to overcome his speech impediment in time to announce we were going to war.
The World suffered a conflict that lasted six years, and cost the lives of tens of millions of people - and we're supposed to feel warm inside because poor old Bertie can hold himself together for ten minutes on the radio. What a relief! I understand he was a popular figure during the war, but I found the whole concept rather tasteless. It might have seemed a little less crass if it started off with our battle weary boys stooped around a wireless, getting all inspired by the King's words, then flashing back to that poorly little boy bullied to the point of psychological damage.
So it loses a star because of the film's inherent thoughtlessness. Apart from that, it's worth a watch if you've got nothing better to do.
(First published on Ciao! under Midwinter)
Just watched 'The King's Speech' and was amazed at how good it was! I usually ramble on in movie reviews so I'll try to keep this one concise, like a good speech :D
~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
'The King's Speech' "tells the story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. After his brother abdicates, George ('Bertie') reluctantly assumes the throne. Plagued by a dreaded stammer and considered unfit to be king, Bertie engages the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue. Through a set of unexpected techniques, and as a result of an unlikely friendship, Bertie is able to find his voice and boldly lead the country through war." Via imdb.
The film started slow, as would expected, and had a mellow pace, which picked up as soon as Bertie became King. Whilst the focus is on the characters, the beauty of the pace, the colour, the movement is all very subtle and is part of the movie to be experienced, enjoyed.
The relationship of Bertie and Lionel is fragile and aggressive yet strong. Their fears and ambitions are exposed to one another and this is portrayed wonderfully. Their hidden yearning for each other's support, their insecurities and the way they confide in each other, makes their characters very human- especially Bertie's.
As the need for Bertie to speak publicly draws near, their relationship is tested and in prevailing, King George VI delivers a predictably beautiful speech, and the closing scenes are phenomenal.
Colin Firth- King George VI / Bertie
Helena Bonham Carter- Queen Elizabeth
Geoffrey Rush- Lionel Logue
Colin Firth deserves his Oscar for portraying Bertie in the role of his career. As THE English Actor (probably the first one you think of when asked), he plays the part very well, supported by the sublime Helena Bonham Carter.
At first I thought that a film about a speech impediment would be utterly boring, but gave this a go due to it's success and found it simple, refreshing and beautifully made, with Oscar worthy performances from the lead trio. A perfect film to watch at Christmas.
#Won 4 Oscars, 7 Baftas and a Golden Globe.
~~~AN AFTER THOUGHT~~~
And having seen this, Colin Firth's Oscar acceptance speech now becomes so relevant and beautiful. And my friend keeps saying this film goes well with 'Black Swan' as Natalie Portman has the queen role that year- glad she won her Oscar too.
Tom Hooper's (The Damned United) film about a king who had a speech imediment is fascinating, riveting and genuinely heart warming. The film follows Bertie (Colin Firth) and Edward (Guy Pearce), son of King George V (Michael Gambon). After King George V dies, the throne is offered to Edward, but he soon abdicates all responsibility, preferring to stay carefree. So the limelight is thrust apon Bertie, whose speech impediment has plauged him all his life. Knowing he cannot lead a people who cannot understand him, his wife (Helena Bonham Carter) seeks out an unusual and unorthodox speech therapist called Lionel Louge (Geoffrey Rush) to help. It's an unlikely pairing and the two don't immediately work well together but with time they progress, in therapy and in personal relationship.
It's a great little film with an all star cast where every performance is an absolute treat to behold.
The film received 12 oscar nominations and won 4 of them, also winning 7 awards at the 64th British Academy Film Awards, including Best Picture, best British Film, Best Screenplay, Best Actor (Firth), Best Supporting Actor/Actress (Rush/Bonham-Carter) and Best Music.
It's a film that will move you, amuse you and thoroughly entertain you, and if the list of award this film won doesn't intruige you check it out for the great cast alone.
The King's Speech is a thoroughly entertaining tale that explores George VI's ascension to the throne after his brother's abdication, and in particular the speech impediment he had that caused public speaking to be a nightmare for him. There are some fantastic acting performances on show here, as well as direction that steadily but strongly depicts events at the time.
I'm always interested in historical tales that centre around fact, and as this is about the father of oue current monarch, it interested me somewhat more. I had never really looked into this part of our national history, although I knew the family tree, so to speak. What was interesting were the events surrounding people such as Queen Elizabeth, who we know better as the Queen Mother.
The film starts with the death of King George V, and shows Edward VIII's reluctance to rule. When George, Edward's younger brother, finds out he is to become King, it's a bit of shock to him, and the main issue is his stutter that is very serious. Still very much an unexplored issue, he goes through a number of so called 'experts' before finally meeting the controversial Lionel Logue and his techniques for overcoming the stutter.
This is less of a historical drama, and more of a delve into the characters and personalities that formed this period in time. The actors really give us an insight as to what things were probably like, with Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon, and a whole host of other actors supporting Colin Firth in his lead role as King George. The acting is excellent, and the film riveting because of it.
Sitting atop of the pile for me is Helena Bonham Carter as Elizabeth, giving a fantastic performance that eclipses the passion that Firth brings to the screen. The Queen Mother herself was approached before her death and she requested that the film not be made until she had passed away as it would bring back painful memories for her, but no doubt she would have approved of the portrayal of her character.
The atmosphere created by the music really helps you get in the right mood for watching this. Indeed, it's all about the atmosphere and the interaction between the two men, Logue and the King, and with an all important address to the nation on the horizon, overcoming the speech impediment is the focus here. Director Tom Hooper is careful to continue the historical development side of the film, to put things into context, but the focus is on these two men and their encounters, and it's excellently done.
I wasn't sure going into this as to whether I'd enjoy it or not, but it was brilliant and I was riveted throughout. It's good to get glimpses of what the country's history would have been like in our grandparents and great-grandparents' times, and to put it on film like this and give it the chance for such a wide viewing is great. The presentation, patience and performances are near perfect, I'd say, and it results in the film being a complete success. Recommended.
"The Kings Speech" is a 2010 Historical drama film based upon the true events of King George VI and his relationship with his speech therapist Lionel Logue, directed by Tom Hooper and starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter.
We see during the opening of the movie Prince Albert, Duke of York ( Colin Firth ) stammering through his speech during the closing ceremony of the 1925 British Empire Exhibition at Wembley stadium, watched by his wife, Elizabeth, Duchess of York ( Helena Bonham Carter )
The Duke is despairing and believes he cannot be cured, after seeing all manner of "Experts" and doctors, his wife persuades him to visit renowned specialist Lionel Logue ( Geoffrey Rush ) an Australian living in London, Logue is very unorthodox and during their first session he insists on them addressing each other by their christian names, which is a serious breach of royal etiquette, after initially resisting the Duke succumbs and Lionel begins addressing him by "Bertie", the name his family and friends address him by.
Meanwhile the Duke's father King George the V health is failing and it looks as though his older brother David ( Guy Pierce ) may succeed the throne, however David is not without controversy as he is a bachelor who is rumoured to be keeping company with a married american woman.
The Duke begins to make progress, however his father indeed does pass away and his brother becomes the new King ( Edward the VIII ), however there is great unrest because he is now dating a recently divorced Mrs Simpson ( Eve Best ) and it seems as though "Bertie" may ascend to the throne as his brother may have to step down, after Lionel gives some of his own opinions about the situation the Duke fires Lionel and is left without a speech therapist.
Inevitably he does indeed get put in the position where he has to succeed his brother to the throne, and must repair his relationship with Lionel, but more importantly must prepare himself for a speech to the nation as their new king, something he is not ready for.
I sat down to watch the Kings Speech expecting a masterpiece of cinema and was certainly not disappointed, its truly a tremendous movie and a masterclass in the art of acting, while some may cast doubt on the entire accuraccy of the story ( in fact Logue worked with the Duke for many years before he had to make his speech, whereas the movie condensed their relationship into a much shorter period of time ) none can cast doubt on the incredible script, incredible directing and excellent performances of the main players.
Colin Firth certainly deserved his Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of the stammering future king of england, its just the right balance of nervous and tightly wound and you can absolutely believe his performance from start to finish, Helena Bonham Carter is also excellent as the future "Queen Mum" and I even believe they applied makeup to her teeth to give her the poor dental work that she made famous, also Geoffrey Rush's performance was equal to the rest and his subtle portrayal of the Australian accent of Lionel Logue gave it more of a realistic feel.
The Direction by Tom Hooper is sublime and some of the cinematography is a work of art ( Watch the scene where Colin Firth sits on a couch in the office of Lionel Logue when they first meet, its shot in such a way that without words you can feel his isolation and nervousness shouting out of the screen )
If you're looking for factual accuraccy, you may need to use your imagination a little here and understand why the filmmakers did what they did. but if you're looking for some of the finest acting you'll see in a long time, along with a fantastic script then this is definitely the movie for you.
I didn't miss out on much at my provincial Spanish cinema whilst we lived there - most big-hitting films turned up sooner or later, and occasionally (Cell 211) a year or so earlier. This, though was given a deliberate swerve. It's not that I didn't fancy the prospect; far from it. Rather, it seemed that so much of the film hung on voice, and so much depended on Colin Firth's delivery that seeing the dubbed version felt an almost purposeless exercise.
Having waited and watched in the original language, I don't think I was wrong. To say The King's Speech is all about Firth is overstating it (if only slightly) - there are a host of strong performances and a powerful eye and ear for atmosphere that contribute, too. However, the film does ultimately ride or fall on his utterances, and that it rode all the way to the Best Picture Oscar this year says enough.
Spanning the between-wars years of 1925-1939, the film relates the story of Prince Albert (later King George VI) as he deals with his father's death, his brother's ascension to and abdication from the throne, and by the story's end, the outbreak of war with Germany. Difficult events for any would-be-monarch, but twists of fate conspire against Albert - not only does he struggle with an oppressive stammer that renders public speaking torturous, but he is approaching the throne at a time when radio and television means that, for the first time, a King is heard by not just a given crowd, but the whole world.
Here enters Lionel Logue, an Australian speech therapist with a growing reputation for his uncoventional (not to mention successful methods). Geoffrey Rush's hammy, unabashed Logue clashes and combines wonderfully with Firth's straight-cut Englishman, and the relationship between the two men is at the heart of the film, driving the story along with panache and humour as Albert wrestles with the deep-set roots and pressing implications of his speech impediment.
The King's Speech is ultimately a predictable film. Once it's established its major players, it's all plain-sailing to the finish, plot-wise. It's essentially a repedalling of the kind of inspiring teacher-reluctant student dynamic that's pulled along countless films from Star Wars to Kung-Fu Panda - we know what to expect; Logue toils to break through to Albert, the student initially resists, but slowly warms ... ya-di-ya. Still, who needs originality when the tale is so well told? The casting's spot-on, the script sharp and flawlessly delivered. What's more, it feels wholly real and believable, and pre-war London comes through in vivid drifts of fog, muted interiors and wailing air-raid sirens. For writer David Seidler, the film appears to have been the culmination of a life's interest in the work of Lional Logue, and this devotion is apparent.
However one attempts to praise this film, though, it's impossible not to return time and again to Colin Firth's awesome central performance. His affectation of the stutter is - to a layman's ear - almost perfect. The frustration and struggle is forcefully, almost painfully conveyed, and he commands the empathy of the audience in every scene. Logue pushes and prods him, and gives Firth ample opportunity to show what he's capable of. The concluding set-piece, a wartime address to the nation, positively crackles with tension, and wraps up a masterful performance.
All in all, I'm glad I waited to see The King's Speech in its original form. The story's engaging enough, but it's nothing without the performances that power it. This is fine drama, and a deserved Oscar-winner. Film of the last year? I'll reserve judgment until I've seen the keenly-anticipated (by me, at least) Hobo With A Shotgun, but it's right up there.
One of the downsides of being a parent of two young boys is the loss of going to the cinema on a regular basis, this once regular occurance has gone down to once or twice a year so it was with regret I missed the Kings Speech at the cinema despite wantiong to see it.
The Kings speech sounds like the dullist possible film depicting the story of George VI battle against a childhood stammer. Indeed the importance of George and his stammer are only relevant in context of the abdication crisis in 1936 and leading the country against Hitlers Germany during the second world war.
Here we are told the story of Bertie Duke of York (Colin Firth) as he was in 1925 having to give a speech at Wembley stadium and failing badly. His wife the future Queen Mum (Helena Bonhelm Carter) seeks out a speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) who has been recommended as a man who can help people with stutters. Fasty forward to 1939 and now King George VI must address the nation ahead of declaring war against Germany, millions are listening worldwide to his radio broadcast, how can this man who can barely talk to his two daughters address the world? Through the help of Lionel and the film tells the story of getting from stammering fool in 1926 to inspirational talker in 1939.
The Kings speech written and directed by Tom Hopper beautifully shot in muted colours, tight constrained photography depicts a man who has to overcome his most secret of fears to become the man the nation needed. From the first scene of a wet and windy Wembley stadium, all dark moody full of British spectators wearing hats and overcoats trying to listen to a man who cna barely talk. Through the wide screen appoach depicting Colin Firths Bertie fighting his inner demons in Lionels treatment room we are given a treat in lavish costume drama. Everything here is just right, the slightly subdued lighting, the music score is used to give the impression of a tight confinded world no extravagant notes but a tight staccato mix of the classic and the music of the Thirties.
However, the film lives and dies on the brilliance of the performances Colin Firth has always been a superb actor and here he gives his performance of a lifetime. The stammering dithering Bertie is given new life by Firths performance, here is a man with everything yet the viewer warms and symapthises with a man with an unpleasant father, a charistmatic but diffident brother and a love for his two daughters. However, in my view the films outstanding performance is by Geoffrey Rush, once again he shows in his portrayal of the Australian linguist that his is one of the finest actors of his generation. With his trade mark gravelly voice and engaging persona he brings alive a complex and intriguing character. With Lionel we see the 30's through the eyes of the educated skilled man, a loving father, a bit of a dreamer but brilliant at seeing the problems and solving them. The other light but engaging performance is by Helena Bonhelm Carter as the future Queen Mum, here we see her in her 30's full of life and Helena once again shows her acting skills are amongst the best (and she's still lovely to the eye). There are other fine performances, Guy Pierce as Edward VIII (neighbours must seem long ago), Michael Gambon as George V and Timothy Spall as Churchill and they all add rather than substract from the film.
The final scene of Edward talking to the microphone is one of the best I've ever witnessed, analogous to an executioners noose Firth shows a man who shows his humanity when he needs to and manages to convey the love for his people, all with the right degree of stiff upper lip and strong right arm. The film leaves the viewer with a love for this awkward diffident thrown in at the deep end and given no options, how many of us would cope if asked to do the one thing we are most scared off?
A Brilliant film and one I'm glad I've finally seen, the DVD version comes with a documentary on the real Kings speech, the additional Film 4 film on the madness of King George and interviews with the main actors/director etc.
There are very few films that I watch and feel sad when I reach the end as I want to keep watching, but this is one of them.
As well as being a great story, I really felt that the period of time the film was set in really came across well on screen and I wanted to jump in the screen and be a part of it! The clothes, the accessories, the cars, the houses - everything is beautiful.
Colin Firth is wonderful as "Bertie", the man who was not born to be king and did not expect to be king but reluctantly became king after his brother abdicated whilst Geoffrey Rush is fantastic as Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue who uses some very unconventional methods to get his client (Bertie) talking.
I challenge anyone to watch this film and not feel for Firth's character at the beginning of the film as he stutters his way through a speech at Wembley stadium. It's awful to watch, and all credit must go to Firth for his portrayal of someone desperate to beat their stammer.
Like all good films it has a happy ending, and is a real family "feel good" film which deserves its awards success.
*Film only review*
As soon as I first heard about this film I was desperate to see it. I did hope that I would end up going to see it at the cinema but at the time I was very busy at work and also money was quite tight so I ended up waiting for the DVD. I added it to my DVD rental list as soon as it was possible to do so but ended up waiting months. Finally it arrived yesterday and I was very pleased and looked forward to watching it.
The Kings Speech is based on the life of King George VI (Queen Elizabeth's Father). He suffered from a speech impediment and this film tells the story of how he tried to overcome this.
George ("Bertie") is the son of George V. He is second in line to the throne and therefore as his older brother is around he doubts he will ever need to take up that position. In Berties eyes this is a good thing because he suffers from a speech impediment which causes him to stammer when speaking publicly.
His wife Elizabeth can see how much his stammer is bothering him and therefore she decides to go about trying to find some help for him. She comes across a man named Lionel Logue and eagerly goes to see him. He tells her to bring Bertie in and he will see what he can do.
Initially Bertie does not take to Lionel and he doesn't think he can help him. However, after an argument with his father where his father mocks his stammer Bertie decides enough is enough and that anything is worth a try.
As I had wanted to see this film for so long I had extremely high expectations of it and I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed. I was captivated from the start and enjoyed the film throughout.
Colin Firth plays Bertie and he did an absolutely fantastic job. Right from the first scene I understood completely how difficult he was finding his stammer and I really felt for him throughout the film. As Colin Firth is in so many other films I did worry initially that I may see him as Colin Firth rather than Bertie but this was not the case at all. I forgot all about him being Colin Firth and just saw him as Bertie. The character of Bertie was very realistic and loveable. I became very fond of him and really wanted him to succeed with his speech therapy. I do not know anyone with a speech impediment but found it easy to understand how difficult it must be.
Helena Bonham Carter played Elizabeth, Berties wife (and the future Queen Mother). She did a brilliant job and this character was far from some of the other characters she has previously played. You could really see how much she cared for her husband and she was supportive to him throughout, attending his sessions with him and never becoming frustrated when he was not progressing as well as he could have been. I really liked her character and was very fond of her.
Geoffrey Rush played Lionel, the speech therapist who was desperate to help Bertie. He was an interesting character and I enjoyed watching how he persevered with Bertie, despite how difficult he was sometimes.
Other characters included Bertie and Elizabeths children Elizabeth and Margaret and Berties elder brother Edward. The two young girls (Freya Wilson and Ramona Marquez) did a wonderful job of portraying the children of Bertie. They also supported their Father and were obviously very proud of the work he did.
Edward was the typical brother that many people seem to have - live fast, die young. Edward insists on seeing a woman throughout that is soon to be twice divorced, something that was simply not acceptable in this society. This added more stress to Berties life and you could see how he was struggling to try and keep the peace between Edward and the government.
The plot flowed well and it was not at all rushed. The film seemed very laid back and it was perfect to watch on a lazy Sunday morning. It was easy to follow and although it really just followed one main plot with the sub-plot of Edwards relationship there was always plenty to focus on and I was not bored at all throughout. I always understood what was going on and I really felt as though I was there with Bertie, willing him on.
The acting in the film is perfect. There is not a single weak character and I can certainly see why the film got so many rave reviews. Even the young actresses playing the young princesses did a wonderful job and I can see them both going very far in the future.
The ending of the film was done extremely well. I enjoyed the way it ended and thought everything was wrapped up perfectly. There were some subtitles at the very end telling us what happened to Bertie and Lionel and I really enjoyed this as it meant I knew how things turned out in real life.
The film was released in 2010.
It was directed by Tom Hooper.
The screenplay was written by David Seidler.
It stars Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce and Michael Gambon.
It is rated a 12 in the UK.
It runs for 118 minutes.
IMDB give it a rating of 8.3/10 (approx 100,000 votes).
As you can probably tell from my review I absolutely adored this film and it certainly lives up to all the hype. Colin Firth is absolutely fantastic as Bertie, providing the audience with a true to life and loveable character. The other actors in the film are also brilliant and the plot flows very well and is an interesting topic. I would certainly recommend the film to those of you who have not yet seen it, I will definitely be watching it again.
"If I'm King, where's my power? Can I form a government? Can I levy a tax, declare a war? No! And yet I am the seat of all authority. Why? Because the nation believes that when I speak, I speak for them. But I can't speak. "
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Anyone with a fear of public speaking will understand the horror of being forced to stand up in a room full of people to give a presentation, or even just say a few words.
For someone with a stammer, it must be imaginably difficult just to say a few words one-to-one with a stranger.
Imagine then, being forced to give a speech to a quarter of the world's population. And not just any speech either, a speech designed to rouse and inspire, to show an empire that they have a strong leader who can lead them through any crisis. And imagine doing that with an uncontrollable stutter, with every tongue-tied noise coming from your lips being broadcast not only to the rest of Britain, not only to the British Empire, but also to enemies that will seize on every weakness. As personal struggles go, I would imagine, this rates even above cooking a meal to impress the mother-in-law.
The King's Speech begins with Prince Albert (Colin Firth), nicknamed Bertie, opening the British Empire Exhibition in 1925. A life-long stutterer, he seizes up in front on his audience and his agony and embarrassment are clear for all to see.
Fortunately for the Prince, as the younger brother of heir to the throne Edward (Guy Pearce), there is little chance he will ever become King. After all, with the introduction of radios, it has now become vital for heads of state to be everything Bertie is not when speaking; articulate, firm and decisive. With the looming war against Germany, it is important, now more than ever, that these qualities are expressed to the public. George V (Michael Gambon) may consider Bertie superior to Edward in most respects, but is painfully aware that Bertie's stutter is a limitation too far.
However, all does not go according to plan. When Edward renounces the throne to marry Simpson, the woman he loves, Bertie is thrust into the spot-light as the new King George VI. With the threat of Hitler on the horizon, King George VI faces an equally challenging nemesis; a little red light on a microphone informing him that his inadequacies are being broadcast to a demanding and unsympathetic world.
In desperation, his wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), turns to an unusual source of help in the form of failed actor Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), an Australian with a reputation for helping sufferers of speech defects using some very unorthodox methods. King George VI will shortly have to give one of the most important speeches in British history; will he be able to embrace Logue's unusual and over-familiar approach in order to overcome his own demons that lay at the heart of his difficulties?
The King's Speech is a master class in acting with a top rate cast. Firth is as close to perfection as is possible. His angst when facing the microphone, his awkwardness when dealing with his therapist and his frustration at his own limitations is etched onto his face. His struggles literally make the audience cringe in sympathy. The imitation of his real-life counterpart is wonderful, but it is a performance elevated well above mimicry.
Helena Bonham Carter demonstrates her versatility as an actress with a strong yet sympathetic portrayal of the woman who would become the beloved queen-mother, as is Timothy Spall who plays a wonderful Churchill in a terrific performance that is really little more than a cameo.
Rush as the speech therapist is also outstanding, his inward discomfort at treating such an important patient masked by his belligerent exterior. Quickly realising that the speech impediment is a product of his difficult past, Logue's solution is to get the King to open up to him. On this basis, an unlikely friendship is made utterly believable by two superb actors who show the mutual respect between these two very different characters.
There are wonderful performances everywhere however. Of particular note is Timothy Spall who is superb as Churchill in a performance that is little more than a cameo.
The King's Speech on many occasions lacks the grandiosity of other period dramas, but the tight, claustrophobic nature is deliberately and cleverly done by the film-maker; long corridors represent Bertie's constricting throat. The cramped environment in which he has to make his final speech is cramped, panic-inducing and terrifying. The audience can't help but hold their combined breathes.
This isn't a nostalgic tribute to the British monarchy, looking back at a time when Kings were Kings and commoners knew their place. Nor is it an attack on the ridiculousness of the institution. It actually walks a clever tightrope between the two; an affectionate yet wry look at all the pomp and tradition through the eyes of a cynical Australian and the man who would be King. But doesn't really want to be.
This is not the type of film or subject matter that I would normally be interested in but I found it inspirational, humorous and at times nerve-wracking. Bertie's battle with himself and the sheer force of his will-power are undeniably admirable and make the climax all the more memorable.
Release Date: 7 Jan 2011
Length: 118 mins
Awards: Four Oscar wins: Achievement in Directing, Motion Picture of the Year, Best Lead Actor and Best Writing.
Another 8 Nominations.
What They Said: "Proves there's fizzing life in old-school British period dramas" The Guardian
"A very entertaining, heartfelt and surprisingly funny crowd-pleaser with a glint of Oscar gold in its eye." Timeout
Ratings: 8.3/10 IMDB
Family Ratings: Rated 12A for some very strong swearing, which is virtually all in one scene as is used as part of the speech-therapy context
Price: Available for just under £10 on Amazon
Summary: As someone who this film didn't really appeal to initially, this comes highly recommended. More than just a period drama, this in an intense, character-driven story that, whilst staying broadly historically accurate, tells the tale of friendship and the will to succeed against the odds.
Let me jump right in as this film needs no introduction.
What did I love about this film? It made history INTERESTING! I love a good period drama but this one took a story that very few people knew much about and made it a story worth telling. Quite a feat, wouldn't you say?
I rarely buy movies on DVD until they are at the bargain bin of Blockbuster or HMV, but I got this the week it was released. It is utterly absorbing; I always believe the mark of a good film is where you don't look at your watch at all. This film seemed to end in a flash; it did not have a particularly fast-paced storyline, but it was so intriguing that at any point could be deemed as non-eventful, I was trying predict what was going to happen next. Curiosity can make for marvellous cinema
Colin Firth needs no review other than to say I found him completely charming and endearing.
I will say more about Geoffrey Rush, who I feel was robbed at the Oscars! I felt myself smiling whenever he was on screen. He played the role with such charisma I just wanted the film to be him and Colin in each scene. It was a subtle performance, which I feel is the hardest kind to give because it has to be spot on.
Helena Bonham Carter, as much as I adore her, I feel she was actually a little overrated. Still a fine performance but she has had better roles for which she was never nominated for an award.
This film, above anything else, is a reminder of what independent British film can produce!
As a rule in my family we always have an outing to the cinema on everyones birthday so for my sisters birthday she choose for us to watch this film, my first thought............oh good i can catch up with some sleep :)
The film opens with the lovely colin firth as the character bertie trying to make a speech, but his stammer makes it virtually impossible to speak in front of large crowds of people, the film then goes on to tell the story of how his wife sends him to a speech therapist and he learns to overcome the problem and becomes king of country (didnt realise it was a true story till my sister told me after) my favorite character was the speech therapist (can't remember actors name) but he was brilliant!
The film is slow in some parts, but over all a very fun and informative history lesson!