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The King's Speech Movie Poster

Year: 2010
Director: Tom Hooper

The King's Speech Download

Cast:

Colin Firth (King George VI), Helena Bonham Carter (Queen Elizabeth), Derek Jacobi (Archbishop Cosmo Lang), Robert Portal (Equerry), Richard Dixon (Private Secretary), Paul Trussell (Driver for The House of Windsor), Adrian Scarborough (BBC Radio Announcer), Andrew Havill (Robert Wood), Charles Armstrong (BBC Technician), Roger Hammond (Dr. Blandine Bentham), Geoffrey Rush (Lionel Logue), Calum Gittins (Laurie Logue), Jennifer Ehle (Myrtle Logue), Dominic Applewhite (Valentine Logue), Ben Wimsett (Anthony Logue), Freya Wilson (Princess Elizabeth), Ramona Marquez (Princess Margaret), David Bamber (Theatre Director), Jake Hathaway (Willie), Michael Gambon (King George V)

Storyline:

Tells the story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. After his brother abdicates, George ('Bertie') reluctantly assumes the throne. Plagued by a dreaded stammer and considered unfit to be king, Bertie engages the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue. Through a set of unexpected techniques, and as a result of an unlikely friendship, Bertie is able to find his voice and boldly lead the country through war. Written by Anonymous

Reviews:

This is a biopic about how King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II, overcame his stuttering problem. Widely considered by all but his father unfit to be king, George is reluctantly thrust unto the throne and into the spotlight after his brother is forced to abdicate. Overshadowed on the global stage by powerful orators like Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini, the King relies on the help of a little-known Australian speech therapist named Lionel Logue to find his voice and courageously lead his people into the most devastating war humanity has ever faced.

This is a powerful, hilarious and deeply moving story, told against the backdrop of a critical juncture in modern history, of the emergence of a deep friendship out of a professional relationship between two men who would otherwise never have socially interacted. The screenplay, written by David Seidler (who also wrote Tucker: The Man and his Dream), is excellent. The dry British wit is hilarious. I was literally slapping my knee during some of the scenes. Tom Hooper (Elizabeth I) does a superb job directing this movie. The buildup to the climactic finale is skillfully executed and prompted the audience to erupt into spontaneous applause. (Apparently, this also happened at the Roy Thomson Hall premiere.) Geoffrey Rush (Elizabeth: The Golden Age) does a fantastic job as Lionel Logue and Colin Firth (A Single Man) is excellent as King George VI.

I saw the second public screening of this movie at the Ryerson Theater during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Tom Hooper was present to introduce the movie. He was joined by Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush after the movie ended for a brief Q&A.

It turns out that David Seidler also had a stuttering problem as a child and drew inspiration from the king's struggle. Early in his career he wanted to write a screenplay about it. He dutifully asked the Queen Mother for permission. She agreed but told him "not in my lifetime". Little did he know she would live to be 101 and he would have to wait another 30 years.

Another interesting tidbit we learned was that near the end of the shoot, the crew finally located one of Lionel Logue's grandsons, who just so happened to live about 10 minutes away from the director. They got access to Lionel's diaries and correspondence and managed to incorporate some of it into the script.

This movie is an unqualified must see.

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I think I must have seen a different film from the previous two reviewers at Leeds on Friday. It is now two days ago and I am still feeling overwhelmed by what I saw. It is a very touching, and quite inspiring story about a man, psychologically scarred, and trapped in a situation from which he could have no escape and facing it with immense courage. It so happens that he was royal, and that was a large part of his problem- but the film isn't so much about royalty as a human story. The film conveyed very powerfully in the opening scene, the enormity of what was required of him. As the film develops, the complexities of the character are revealed. The acting is superb, especially from the three principals, and the development of the troubled and sparky relationship at the heart of the film is a joy to watch. The film is very funny and the characters have warmth and humanity. The film is well paced, and carries you along to the emotional climax, so that, even though I knew the story, it had me holding my breath. If you don't need lots of action or special effects in your film, and enjoy seeing top-notch actors at the very peak of their craft, this will be for you. You might also, as I did, gain a bit more insight into the human drama behind a significant, but relatively unexplored period of British history.

If CF and GR both win Oscars they will be more than worthy winners and if they don't then "best" has no meaning.

One further thought- anyone who thinks that this film is unsuitable for teenage viewers needs to have a long hard look at their priorities. It could prove inspirational to anyone with communication difficulties.

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