The King’s Speech: Grandeloquent with a Stutter

In this life, something (in this earthly realm, not a Platonic ideal, philosophy majors) cannot be entirely perfect unless it also has a minor flaw.  Like Michaelangelo’s David, The King’s Speech has a flaw in its marble, preventing it from being my perfect see-it-with-the-family holiday movie.

But this thing, this scene, is so much a part of the movie that I would not wish it out.  It’s this scene that earned the movie an R rating, though otherwise there is nothing objectionable for children (or grandparents).  In it, Colin Firth, as King George VI, swears a blue streak, popping out profanity like a high school student on the Metro.  But that scene so perfectly conveys the difficulty with which the king can express himself that it must stay.

The story, if you weren’t a history major, is this–on the brink of World War II, King George V died, leaving his son to take the throne.  This son, however, was in love with an American divorcee, and thus, as head of the Church of England, could not both take the throne and marry Wallis Simpson.  He abdicated and his brother, George VI, became king.  The new king, however, was a violent stutterer.  And he was called on to address the nation by radio.  What to do?

Enter Geoffery Rush as Lionel Logue, the prickly linguist who coaches the king.  These two, with Helena Bonham Carter as the queen, complete this movie about the triumph of the will over family hangups, political infighting, and self doubt.

I saw the movie at E Street Cinema.  I rarely say this, but I would buy the DVD.  Gasp, I know!  OK, maybe I’ll Netflix it.  Maybe I’ll buy  it!  I don’t know!

Colin Firth is simply amazing here.  Go for Mr. Darcy, stay for the story.


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