The King's Speech

  • Year:2010
  • Rating:M
  • Director:Tom Hooper
  • Cast:Helena Bonham Carter, Colin Firth, Guy Pearce, Geoffrey Rush
  • Release Date:December 26, 2010
  • Distributor:Paramount
  • Running time:118 minutes
  • Film Worth:$14.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

Cinematically told and firmly rooted in its characters, this is an absolute crowd pleaser.


There's something about the marketing of this film that makes it look sedate, pompous and, potentially, a yawn. The true story of a stammering future monarch and his maverick Aussie speech therapist sounds like one for dedicated historical drama heads only. Yet The King's Speech - a likely Oscar contender - is the stuff of crowd-pleasing brilliance.

Cinematic, amusing and uplifting, the key players are wonderful, with Colin Firth delivering a career-defining turn as the future King George VI - known to family and friends as Bertie - the father of the future Queen Elizabeth II and spouse of the eventual Queen Mother (Helena Bonham Carter).

The plot ostensibly centres on Bertie's unlikely friendship with speech therapist Lionel Logue (a reined-in Geoffrey Rush), but The King's Speech is really about a personal struggle that takes place against a dramatic historical panorama, which includes the controversial abdication of King Edward VIII (an enjoyable Guy Pearce) to marry the twice-divorced Mrs. Simpson (Eve Best), and the outbreak of WW2.

It's rich material, with The Damned United director Tom Hooper creating surprising tension whenever the stammering Bertie speaks publicly. Bertie was a snob, disconnected from what his even snobbier father called the "proletarian abyss." He was a loving family man, but also impatient, sometimes discourteous, and deeply flawed. In short, a real person, albeit an unbelievably privileged one. Firth brings his inherent likeability to the role, and you sympathise with Bertie as he deals with his vocal demons.

While not a stylistic groundbreaker, historical dramas don't come any better. It might be set in the rarefied world of British royalty, yet it tells a universal story.

Highly entertaining and highly recommended, there's a tale here that everyone can relate to - the facing of personal challenges.

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