Saturday, January 01, 2011

The King's Speech

Last night we saw the King's Speech with Geoffrey Rush and Colin Furth.   It is an excellent movie that mixes a compelling story with bits of humor.  Geoffrey Rush plays Lionel Logue who was a speech coach in London and Colin Furth plays the future British monarch, the Duke of York (George VI).

George VI stammered and this is the story of the attempts to fix that problem.  Logue worked with the future king from about 1925 after one of his first public speeches.   The story of the movie focuses on Logue's methods, which had been developed working with WWI veterans, and ends with him coaching George VI on one of his first wartime speeches.

What intrigued me about the movie was the immediate tie I had with all of the characters.  Firth and Rush play well off each other but so do all the other characters.   The final speech episode is riveting.

I had not realized that George VI died relatively young, at 56, in part because of his heavy smoking - he was, of course succeeded by his daughter, Elizabeth.   The movie also presents some of the intrigue between the future George VI and his brother (Edward VIII who eventually became the Duke of Windsor after his abdication).  The themes in the movie are developed in a compelling manner.

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