THE KING’S SPEECH (2010)

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Director: Tom Hooper
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 118 min

The second son of Edward V, Prince Albert never thought he would ascend the throne.  He was a career military man, and his terrible stutter and fear of speaking in public made him loathe the occasions on which he was called upon to act as a statesman.  But through the gentle prodding of his wife, Elizabeth, Bertie struck up a professional relationship and later friendship with Lionel Logue, an unconventional speech therapist.  Where other speech therapists had failed, Lionel succeeded in giving the prince tricks and techniques for overcoming his stutter and–most importantly–in giving him confidence in his own ability to speak.  As the political climate in Britain grows tense due to George V’s death, Edward VIII’s relationship with a divorced American, and Hitler’s mounting aggression, and with the new prominence of the radio as a means of communication, Bertie’s realizes that his voice will be critical in uniting the nation.

This film took numerous Academy Awards in 2011 including Best Picture.  It is the best film I have seen in a long time.  The cast includes some of my favorite actors (including Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham-Carter, and Colin Firth) all of whom I have seen in many, many films. Yet when I watched The King’s Speech, I forgot who they were.  I forgot I was watching actors; I became so absorbed in the world of the film, and there were no actor mannerisms or vocal cues or anything else to jerk me out of that illusion.  I loved the color, the lighting, the cinematography, the soundtrack, and the screenplay.  I know it probably needs no recommendation since it won so many awards, but I don’t always enjoy award winners as much as I enjoyed this film.  If you prefer action-packed adventure stories, this film may not be for you.  But if you enjoy films with an emphasis on character and relationships, I highly recommend it.

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