Now making the rounds on Showtime is 2010’s “The King’s Speech”.
Starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter, “The King’s Speech” is the story of a British Royal with a debilitating speech impediment. He has a nearly paralyzing stammer. He seeks the help of a speech therapist and the two of them work towards his recovery.
The film was the recipient of last year’s Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor (Colin Firth) Best Screenplay and Best Director (Tom Hooper).
The question before us is, was it deserving?
Firth plays Prince Albert, the Duke of York. He has a thick stammer… His words lock up on him. His condition is additionally unfortunate in light of the fact that, as royalty, he’s occasionally called upon to represent the country publicly. The doctors he’s seen are unskilled quacks, with the science and techniques in the area of the time proving to be insufficient. His wife (Bonham Carter) sets him up with a speech therapist (Rush).
Rush treats Firth with a combination of traditional techniques, such as tongue twisters and vocal exercises, and a mild psychiatric therapy. Rush’s Logue needs to not only overcome the King’s difficulties speaking, but work around the obstacles that royalty and propriety put between them. Progress is made incrementally, and the two begin to become friends, but the stakes are raised when Albert assumes the throne. As King, overcoming his impediment is more important than ever.
Especially when WWII arrives.
“The King’s Speech” is a psychological drama… The King’s mental block makes for a unique obstacle, and the dawn of WWII puts pressure on them to resolve the issue. Watching the two men work through it is a captivating experience. The two of them put on an acting showcase, especially Firth, who not only needs to portray a stammerer, but a man carrying an enormous psychological burden due to his royal upbringing. Helena Bonham Carter is fantastic as well.
It’s an excellent picture. I’m not certain I would choose it over Black Swan (personally), but it certainly is a high quality motion picture. And it’s definitely the type of picture the Academy likes to have represent it as “Best Picture” – loaded with great acting, period piece, and personal drama.