The King’s Speech (2010)

The King’s Speech(2010) — Who would have guessed that elocution lessons could make for a movie this good?  Apparently King George VI of England (who only ascended to the throne because his brother abdicated) had a very pronounced stammer.  Being King in the age of radio (the 1930s), one needed to make speeches (especially when rallying a nation to war).  So naturally Albert (as he was known before becoming King) seeks assistance is overcoming his speech impediment with speech therapist Lionel Logue, an unsuccessful Australian actor (played by successful Australian actor Geoffrey Rush).  It’s a tricky thing playing a character with a speech impediment.  Many actors have made asses of themselves trying (Ewen Bremner in Pearl Harbor, Paul Giamatti in Lady in the Water).  Colin Firth avoids that by making clear the struggle necessary for Albert to just talk.  It’s not an actor’s affectation but a vital part of the character. SIDENOTE: The film is rated R for the most ridiculous reasons: part of Lionel’s therapy regimen involved shouting curse words.  That happens twice and the movie is rated R as a result.  This is a very good film that is not suddenly inappropriate for younger viewers because a man shouts the word “fuck” (completely devoid of suggestive context) a couple times in an otherwise “family friendly” movie.  Yet another example of why the MPAA needs to go do some NC-17 rated things to itself…

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