Saturday, May 28, 2011

The King’s Speech – Movie Review

It was a real pleasure for me to witness this modern portrayal of a lesser known, but very significant historical event – an event that profoundly influenced the world in which I now live.

On September 1st, 1939, as the inevitability of World War II rolled across the British Empire like thick English fog, King George VI was preparing himself to utter perhaps one of the greatest speeches of all time – a speech he was ill prepared to make. Because of the sudden abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII, the new king unexpectedly found himself on the throne. King George would obviously have to speak in public but his life long speech impediment stood firmly in his way. The new king’s faithful and determined wife, Elizabeth (mother to Queen Elizabeth II and grandmother to Prince Charles) had previously hired several speech therapists, but King George’s progress was non-existent – until she hired a man named Lionel Logue.

An ordinary man, Mr. Logue was anything but common. Lionel immediately went to work trying to help the king – using unorthodox methods to change the course of history. This movie is about the ultimate triumph of King George VI, a real life reluctant monarch thrust into the spotlight by circumstance beyond his control. “The King’s Speech” is the story of a man who rises to meet his obligations – even when those obligations felt like climbing Mount Everest without oxygen support. This story is about determination and determination and more determination – and I liked it a lot!

In the United States, “The King’s Speech” was rated R (14A in Canada), and I will tell you why. The movie has no sex or violence, but it does have a few scenes when the struggling king uses profanity to help him in his speech therapy. As you may already know, I’m not a fan of profanity and wish it had been omitted. I did, however, brave the occasional swarms of foul language masquerading as acting, and enjoyed the movie anyway.

The movie stars Colin Firth, Goeffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Jennifer Ehle, Derek Jacobi, Michael Gambon, Timothy Spall and Anthony Andrews – and they all do an awesome job of portraying this “based on true” story. 

Visit “The King’s Speech” official website.  
For more information and support materials for children and adults who stutter: The National Stuttering Association provides educational and support resources for children and adults who stutter, educators and speech therapists. Over 100 local chapters provide additional support.
Visit for more information.

Here's the real speech His Majesty, King George VI delivered on September 3rd, 1939

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