This post was actually planned for last week’s ‘Film Friday‘, but as you may recall I didn’t get around to it because I was busy preparing for my party. But I’m not busy at all today, so here it is!
Warning, there be spoilers ahead!
The King’s Speech (2010). This film is based on the true story of King George VI of Great Britain. It follows his sudden ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped His Royal Highness succeed in taking the throne. It begins in 1925, and follows their progress through to 1939, when war is declared against Nazi Germany.
It stars Colin Firth as King George VI, Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth, Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue, Michael Gambon as King George V, Guy Pearce as King Edward VIII, Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill, Freya Wilson as Princess Elizabeth, and Ramona Marquez as Princess Margaret.
It begins in 1925, as Prince Albert, Duke of York, later to be crowned King George VI, the second son of King George the V, stammers through his speech closing the 1925 British Empire Exhibition at Wembley Stadium. The resulting ordeal is broadcast worldwide via radio. Later his wife Elizabeth persuades him to see Lionel, an Australian speech therapist in London. They get off on the wrong foot, but after Albert (known as Bertie) notices improvement, they develop a working relationship.
The movie is quite historically accurate, but it is a movie and so there were compromises. The event timeline was tightened somewhat, so the events take place over a shorter amount of time, also HRH’s speech improved a lot faster in reality. Certain things, such as the King’s stammer, were exaggerated for filmic reasons.
I love the actors in this movie. Helena Bonham Carter is incredible in a role which is quite ‘normal’ for her. Her portrayal of Elizabeth is quite touching and honest. The actress disappears and the historical figure emerges. Colin Firth does this too. Which I suppose is why it was nominated for 212 awards, and won 78 of them (including 4 Oscars).
Lionel Logue: I believe sucking smoke into your lungs will… will kill you.
King George VI: My physicians said it relaxes the… the… the throat.
Lionel Logue: They’re idiots.
King George VI: They’ve all been knighted.
Lionel Logue: [sarcastic] Makes it official, then.
Lionel Logue: Would I lie to a prince of the realm to win twelve pennies?
King George VI: I have no idea what an Australian might do for that sort of money.
King George VI: You know, if… if I’m a… a King, where’s my power? Can I… can I form a government? Can I… can I l-levy a tax, declare a… a war? No! And yet I am the seat of all authority. Why? Because… the nation believes that when I s… I speak, I speak for them – but I can’t speak.
King George VI: What is it about you that bloody well makes you want to go on about it the whole bloody time?
Lionel Logue: Vulgar, but fluent; you don’t stammer when you swear.
King George VI: Oh, bugger off!
Lionel Logue: Is that the best you can do?
Lionel Logue: You still stammered on the ‘W’.
King George VI: Well, I had to throw in a few so they knew it was me.
Now, because I was bad and didn’t post this last week, I may just have a treat in store for tomorrow! Maybe…