By Lisa Karon Richardson
Okay, so it’s got Colin Firth, I don’t have to tell you to go see it. But I have a blog post to do, and by golly, I’m going to do my duty.
The Duke of York, affectionately known as Bertie, stuttered, and for a man constantly in the public eye it was an agony. He tried several doctors until in 1926 he began seeing a speech therapist named Lionel Logue. On the surface it doesn’t seem like the premise for a gripping movie.
But I found the movie compelling. Bertie is portrayed as self-conscious and diffident, but also passionate and witty, loyal and brave. His battle is internal as he is faced with devastating circumstances, beginning with the death of his father. We can see the war within him as he tries to balance his loyalty to his brother’s reign, with his sense of duty to the country. And finally as he assumes the role of king, which he never wanted, and must face the Nazi threat.
Colin Firth is superb in his role as the tormented Bertie, and Geoffrey Rush also does a fantastic job as the speech therapist, and would-be actor, Lionel Logue. His irreverence is a perfect contrast to the buttoned-up duke. It’s his informality and friendliness that slowly drag the duke from his shell and force him to see his potential.
One word of caution. There is some bad language, which earned the movie an R rating. The context of the cursing rendered it totally inoffensive and frankly really funny, and I’m usually sensitive to cussing. Others may not share my sense of humor though.
Overall, the dialogue snaps along, even with the stuttering, and the settings are gorgeous. Character development in this intimate story is fantastic. I highly recommend it. I even sacrificed in preparation for this post and forced myself to see it twice.
Oh, and make sure you catch the previews. Looks like the new Jane Eyre is going to be good!
Anyone else see The King’s Speech yet? What did you think?