The King’s Speech ★★★★
Is there such a thing as “too British to fail”? If so, this film demonstrates that empirically. Not just a runaway home-grown success story, it’s an independently funded success story, too. The King’s Speech eclipsed The Full Monty and Slumdog Millionaire in the public imagination as the definitive UK export. It ticks every box in this regard: a true story involving royalty, period costume and war, with an “issue” at its heart, namely, reluctant King George VI’s stutter and his mastery of this speech impediment in time to unite the nation against Hitler in 1939. Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush are pitch-perfect as the King, a no-nonsense Queen Elizabeth and daring Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue, and director Tom Hooper keeps the whole thing marching smartly along. Whether such Britishness seems more relevant post-Brexit or fills you with melancholy will be a matter of taste.
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