REVIEW: ‘The King’s Speech’

Director:
Tom Hooper
Cast:
Colin Firth
Helena Bonham Carter
Geoffrey Rush
Michael Gambon
Rated: R

The film follows the later life story of the eventual King of England George VI (Firth). The film begins with George, also called Albert, trying to deliver a speech to the nation one day, but is unable to because of a major stammer he has. Because of this, Albert lives in the shadow of his brother Edward VIII (Pearce) and his father King George V (Gamgon).

George VI tries to have English specialists help with his stammer but they all appear to be futile. That is until his wife Elizabeth finds a man named Lionel Logue (Rush), who is more effective than the rest. After working with George VI for a time their friendship begins to grow despite a shaky start, and it is thrust into a level of professionalism when George VI is pushed to the throne and has to speak to rally his people in the face of World War II.

The King’s Speech is a character study of someone living with a disability and an exploration of friendship. Both of these aspects work in harmony with each other as the movie goes along and makes for one of the more engaging pictures of the year. The two lead characters and their relationship in dealing with George’s stuttering is fascinating and engaging.

The characters themselves are well written and are brought out nicely by the fantastic performances. Colin Firth was stunning in his role, capturing the difficulty that George VI must have had speaking, as well as humanizing a larger than life figure. I was really able to feel the nervousness he had and it was probably the best performance of a person with a disability since Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman.

Geoffrey Rush was also superb, being able to play very well off of Firth. It was great seeing them become good friends in the film and their interactions were very good. The rest of the performances were well done too, none of them taking me out of the movie.

I was also really impressed with Helena Bonham Carter as Elizabeth, Albert’s wife, who turned in a subtle yet strong performance.

The filming looked great too. Being a period piece it really captured London well. There was one scene where George and Lionel were walking through the the city surrounded by fog, both enhancing the atmosphere and sending audiences back to that time.

Overall, The King’s Speech is a fantastic film that one can really become invested in because of the phenomenal performances. It is made even better by the strong story of a man’s rise to power and dealing with a problem that he has. 5 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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