Colin Firth. Geoffrey Rush. Helena Bonham Carter. What an amazing lineup in The King's Speech, which has landed seven Golden Globe nominations—and by all accounts, this cast truly delivers the goods. Why, it's enough to make me actually sit down and watch a period drama, a genre I normally categorize with "Weepy Chick Flick" in my list of movies to avoid.
Firth plays King George VI, a man with an impediment to his ability to rule—a severe stutter, first painfully displayed in a failed speech at the British Empire Exhibition. His wife Elizabeth (played by Bonham Carter) directs him to Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), an eccentric Australian speech therapist. Lionel's ensuing speech lessons double as therapy, unhinging the king's stiff upper lip and delivering some much-needed emotion and humor into his interactions.
The King's Speech was written by David Seidler, someone who has personally dealt with a stammer. Firth told NPR,
David Seidler, our writer, is someone who battled with a stammer for much of his life, and he described it as something which really is all-consuming. It's not just an inconvenience that you can isolate; he said it became the be-all and end-all of everything.
Director Tom Hooper (all of 37 years old) is being lauded as a masterful storyteller who created an intimate powerhouse of a film to accompany Seidler's script. It sounds like the winning combination of creators and actors have made this a must-see film, one I'd choose over The Tourist any day.
Firth said of the movie's broad appeal,
It's a pretty hard sell, you know. [It's hard] to go up to somebody and say, "This film applies to you -- and it's 1937, and it's about a member of the royal family, and it's about someone who has a stammer." And yet people seem to have very strong emotional and personal responses to this film. Anyone who has [experienced a moment] in their life which says, "You're up, this is your moment, you have to deliver," and has been afraid of that moment, I think will respond to a great deal of this.
Will you be seeing The King's Speech?
Image via IMDB