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The King's Speech

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The King's Speech

Tom Hooper (2010)

113min
12 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
In this marvellously moving tale, Colin Firth is impressive as King George VI, the British monarch who suffered from a terrible nervous stammer. From the outset, when he freezes on national radio, the tension of striving to uphold his image is palpable. And it's George's wife Elizabeth (the future Queen Mother, played by a sprightly Helena Bonham Carter) who drives him on, unlike his distant father (Michael Gambon), who continually puts him down. Elizabeth engages the services of speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), who is a breath of fresh air in a world of stifling formality, although his intimate approach initially maddens George. Director Tom Hooper (The Damned United) deftly captures a man in limbo amid the scandal of his brother Edward's abdication of the throne and the run-up to the Second World War, while Firth manages to express George's crippling fear without losing any dignity. Inevitably, his friendship with Lionel becomes pivotal, but what comes across just as powerfully is how lonely life can be at the top. This is the type of thing the British film industry does so well - a bit of history, a bit of social comedy, a few liberties with the truth and a flag-waving finale.

Summary

The younger son of George V struggles to cope with an uncontrollable stammer, prompting his wife to enlist the aid of an eccentric Australian speech therapist. The support and friendship of the doctor prove invaluable when a crisis places the repressed prince on the throne, just as the outbreak of the Second World War leaves the country in need of a strong king. Oscar-winning fact-based drama, starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter and Guy Pearce.

Cast & Crew

"Albert", King George Vl Colin Firth
Queen Elizabeth Helena Bonham Carter
Lionel Logue Geoffrey Rush
"David", Edward Vlll Guy Pearce
King George V Michael Gambon
Winston Churchill Timothy Spall
Myrtle Logue Jennifer Ehle
Archbishop Cosmo Lang Derek Jacobi
Queen Mary Claire Bloom
Stanley Baldwin Anthony Andrews
Duke of Gloucester Tim Downie
Wallis Simpson Eve Best
Princess Elizabeth Freya Wilson
Princess Margaret Ramona Marquez
Director Tom Hooper
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Other Information

Language: English Colour Theatrical distributor: Momentum Guidance: Swearing. Available on: Available on DVD and BluRay Released on: 7 Jan 2011

Drama

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