Every year when December rolls around and the awards show season in Hollywood kicks into high gear, I try to make sure that I see pretty much every film that might have a shot at winning the most awards… Golden Globes , SAGs, and of course Oscars.
The Kings Speech was pretty much the last film on my list and I have to say that it was a great movie, and a fascinating bit of World history that I can only imagine most people certainly know nothing about.
The film stars Colin Firth as King George VI and Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush as Speech Therapist Lionel Logue.
The Year is 1939 and the United Kingdom is on the brink of WAR. the passing of King George V puts the empire in turmoil. George VI was never supposed to inherit the throne of the Worlds Greatest Empire. Rather it was his brother, King Edward VIII who took over the throne with the Kings passing.
But….King Edward VIII was forced to abdicate the throne when he revealed his desire to married a twice divorced American woman named Wallis Simpson.
As the second son, King George VI never expected to have to perform the Royal duties that come with wearing the crown of the great British Empire, but when forced into this highest of Royal positions, King George VI was now forced to battle his biggest challenge; his debilitating stammer.
Prior to the advent of Radio, a Monarch only needed to look the part and perhaps speak only to a small circle of advisors , but now with the development of technology the King of the Worlds greatest Empire could now speak to his subjects across the globe via radio transmission.
King George VI enlisted the help of speech therapist Lionel Logue to overcome his terrible stammer .
The Kings Speech is the story of these two men and the amazing friendship they develop as the newly crowned king is forced to deal with his speech issues just in time to symbolically lead his empire into another World War, this time against the Nazi menace.
For what would seem to be such a huge slice of European history, the film has a wonderful small intimate feeling. The monarch (Firth) hardly seems to be regal at all, just a man with a serious speech impediment and his mentor and friend Geoffrey Rush. The character Rush plays (Logue) will not refer to the King as his Royal Highness but rather as “Bertie” (short for Albert..his birth name)
The bond these two develop will last a lifetime and Logue would be at the side of the King for every major public and radio address during his time as king.
The historical time period when the story takes place, (The coming of World War 2, The Death of the King, The Abdication of the throne and the resulting ascension to the throne) merely serve as a backdrop to a wonderful story of an unlikely friendship that developed between a man and his speech therapist.
That man just happened to be the KING OF ENGLAND!!
Colin Firth Must Win The Best Actor Oscar for this role!!