It was “cheap Tuesday” at the movies with special deals for seniors, and we went to see the award winning film, “The King’s Speech”. Aussie speech therapist Lionel Logue of Harley Street meets the reluctant Duke of York who has suffered all his life from a speech impediment. This unlikely pairing go through a range of unorthodox voice exercises and treatments with many ups and downs along the way. After the death of his father, King George V, and the shocking abdication of the heir to the throne, playboy Edward, Bertie is crowned George VI. The new technology of live radio broadcasts are a horrifying prospect to this unassuming man and he finally finds his voice of authority with the help of his therapist and friend at his side to guide him to through.
Colin Firth plays the part of Bertie, who has tried all his life to master his stammer. Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue is the therapist who insists on trust and equality between him and his patient, something that Bertie finds outside of his area of understanding. The young Queen Elizabeth is played very convincingly by Helena Bonham Carter. This film had me in tears as snippets of royal childhood are slowly revealed, and Bertie, with Lionel’s help, struggles to overcome his stammer. Bertie finds the strength to make his first radio broadcast to unite the nation on the eve of the second world war. Humorous moments lighten the mood as the reluctant king is taken through his voice exercises, and encouraged to sing and, dare we say it, shout out swear words!
Written by David Seidler who began reading about George VI after overcoming his own stutter during his youth and, using informed imagination, wrote about the men's relationship. Nine weeks before filming, Logue's notebooks were discovered and quotations from them incorporated into the script. This is a wonderful, inspiring film, and one we can heartily recommend.