“The King’s Speech” Has Something to Say
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
No, “The King’s Speech” is not about a state of the commonwealth address or Edward giving up the throne for the woman he loves. It’s about the pernicious stammer of King George VI and how he cured it.
Add it to those affliction movies (“Shine,” “My Left Foot,” et al.) that garner Academy Award nominations. Buzz is that this might just be Colin Firth’s year. He stars as the speech-challenged king of the film’s title.
“The King’s Speech” is currently chattering away at the Tropic Cinema.
Based on true historical events, this is the story of Albert (the future George VI and father of the current Queen Elizabeth) who dreaded speaking in public because of his stammer. After his closing speech at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1925, which proved to be an ordeal for both him and his listeners, he consulted Lionel Logue, an Australian speech therapist. Logue instructed Albert in breathing exercises, particularly the technique of diaphragmatic breathing. As a result of this training, Albert's opening address at Australia’s Federal Parliament in 1927 went well, and thereafter he was able to speak with only a slight hesitation.
Some moviegoers might find this a dry-as-dust historical biopic, but with Colin Firth as Albert Frederick Arthur George and Geoffrey Rush as Logue you will be fascinated by the performances alone.
Firth came to attention as Mr. Darcy in 1995’s television adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice.” He went on to pay his dues in such nonsense as “Bridget Jones’ Diary” and “Nanny McPhee.” You even heard him sing in “Mamma Mia!” His breakout role was 2009’s “A Single Man,” for which he received an Academy Award nomination.
Rush won his own Oscar as the handicapped pianist in “Shine.” So he’s here to support Firth, like a mentor, grooming him for a walk down the Red Carpet.
“The King’s English” received a standing ovation at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the People Choice Award.
The people spoke.
[from Solares Hill]