The King’s Speech (2010)

kings speech poster 2010 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Positive message, unknown story

The type of movie that tries to please everyone

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The King’s Speech

Studio:  UK Film Council

Genre(s):  Drama

Release Date(s):  September 6, 2010 (Telluride Film Festival)/January 7, 2011 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

kings speech albert wife helena bonham carter colin firth

So…king…great…now what?

King George V (Michael Gambon) is dying.  With his son Edward (Guy Pearce) set to take the throne, Edward’s involvement with a married woman named Wallis Simpson (Eve Best) places his brother Prince Albert (Colin Firth) next in line for the throne.  Unfortunately, Albert is dealing with a lifelong stutter and now he’ll be forced to be the voice of the nation.  With the world heading toward war, the new king must find his voice and an Australian voice coach named Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) could be his only hope.

Directed by Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech is a historic drama.  The film was released to critical acclaim but also controversy surrounding the R-Rating due to language despite the positive message (which lead to an edited PG-13 rated version being released in the U.S. on April 1, 2011).  The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Actor (Firth), Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay with nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Rush), Best Supporting Actress (Carter), Best Film Editing, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Mixing, Best Score, and Best Cinematography.

kings speech albert lionel logue therapy geoffrey rush colin firth

I will make you speak!!!!

Historical dramas are not always my thing.  As with all historical dramas, they have to be taken with a grain of salt, and The King’s Speech is no different.  Events in the film didn’t play out as they played in real life and though the relationship between Albert and Lionel appears to have been cordial, it also doesn’t appear to be to the friendship level presented by the movie…which always in my opinion hurts historical dramas.

The movie really sped up events of the movie.  What appears to have been a rapid chain of events that led Albert to be king was actually spread out much longer with Lionel working with him much longer.  The film also elevated Churchill’s role when at the time he probably wouldn’t have been involved.  The spirit of the film however is a positive one.  The idea of a person overcoming adversity is always a good one, and this relationship between the characters is an interesting one to explore since it largely was hidden by history (the Queen Mother played by Helena Bonham Carter here asked the story not to be told until after her death).

The cast is also strong.  I’ve always like Firth and it was good to see him get attention as the troubled king.  Geoffrey Rush also brings class to a role and the same is true of Helena Bonham Carter.  The film features smaller roles by Derek Jacobi, Guy Pearce, Timothy Spall, Jennifer Ehle, and Eve Best.

kings speech final speech world war ii albert colin firth

Guess what? My stutter’s gone! Oh yeah, and we’re going to war!

The movie is also a very simple movie visually.  There is generally a lot of effort in historical pieces to make these edited and grand views of the “old time” settings but there isn’t much of that in the movie.  It is a rather subdued film and other than some basic trips in parks and other locations, the film mostly feels like a play (which it originally was conceived as).

The King’s Speech isn’t really my type of movie, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad movie.  It is very mainstream and very predictable (being based on history, it is hard to surprise).  It is a solid, pleasing film that easily reaches a wide audience, but that (in my opinion) doesn’t always make for the most interesting storytelling.  Still, the movie does have a lot of class and a good message that can be enjoyed by many…plus, you got to love unbridled swearing.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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