A spectacular film about a man whose destiny included kingship! Colin Firth plays George VI, (1895-1952) the younger brother of abdicated King Edward VII (Wallis Simpson). Firth is meteoric in portraying “ Bertie”, as he was affectionally addressed by his family and few friends. He was plagued with physical and emotional vicissitudes throughout his childhood: left handed he was forced to adjust to a right handed world; knock-kneed, he was torturously encased in metal braces; his nanny starved and pinched him mercilessly. It is shocking that his debilitating stammer was the only physical challenge he had to conquer.
The film revolves around the unorthodox treatment by Australian-born, speech therapist, Lionel Logue, depicted with more than a touch of genius by Goeffrey Rush . The greatness and wisdom of “The King’s Speech” lies in the development of the relationship between the two men; with wills of matched magnitude, compromise, illusive but attainable; the commoner and the king bury the boundaries and emerge, purged, redeemed. Two of the most immaculate performances of the year.
Helena Bonham- Carter, as Bertie’s stalwart wife, Elizabeth, gives a subtle performance laced with queen- like integrity. Guy Pearce, excellent as Edward, the abdicator, chose the life he was not groomed for, but suited him with designer- label aptitude.
Director Tom Hopper and screenwriter David Seidler have given movie lovers a 24 carat diamond, a visual and intellectual jewel; imbued with Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms, iconic performances (Firth and Rush, positives for Oscar nods), a glorious, glowing, cultivated story about a Man, who happened to be King.
FOUR & 1/2 STARS!!!!
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