Film without stutter
When his father, King George V (Michael Gambon), suddenly passes away and his brother is more interested in scandal than the throne, little Bertie (Firth) is thrust into the limelight (i.e. succeeds to the throne) and is forced to face some of his own personal demons. He has given up all hope of ever being cured from his speech impediment and doesn’t believe in his own abilities to lead the country. His wife (Bonham Carter) makes him see one last specialist, the unorthodox Lionel Logue (Rush), who gains the king’s trust.
For a period drama, The King’s Speech is not only unusually funny but also extremely personal. Even though it’s based on true events, Colin Firth as King George VI gives his character depth and fragility that let history appear in a new light. He turns the monarch into a person the viewer can identify with, so that his journey to find a cure for his stutter (and to find his own voice in a figurative sense as well) elicits laughter and tears like the story of a personal friend. With a freshly minted Golden Globe under his belt, Firth’s Oscar chances have just risen another notch.
THE KING'S SPEECH | Directed by Tom Hooper (UK, Australia 2010) with Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter. Opens February 17