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The King's Speech - and not a word was spoken whilst this film was on
The King's Speech (DVD)
Member Name: madeindevon
The King's Speech (DVD)
Date: 28/01/13, updated on 29/01/13 (70 review reads)
Advantages: Great film
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
Summary: the abdication crisis, from a different angle - great film