Austen adaptations on Austen Authors, and I am amazed by the things I missed. Like most people, I go to the movies for the pure enjoyment of seeing a good movie, and I like a film or I don't like it. It might be just okay or a possible future DVD purchase. But The King's Speech is different. Even if I wasn't interested in wartime Britain, I would have found the movie compelling. Here is a man, the son and brother of a king, but someone never meant to be king, and because of that, few care that Bertie stutters badly. But then history forces him to the forefront. With the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII, in 1938, so that he might marry Wallace Simpson, Bertie becomes king, and it could not have happened at a worse time. Hitler has forced the Czechs to give up the Sudetenland, and then marched in to take control of the now undefended Czechoslovakia. War is on the horizon, and George VI knows that his nation will look to their king for guidance and leadership. They will need to hear the king’s voice.
This is where speech therapist Lionel Logue comes in. The two begin a journey filled with pain, humiliation, and tireless determination. But in the end, because of their joint efforts, the king is able to address his nation after war with Germany has been declared, and he knows many more speeches are in his future. The result of this collaboration: a friendship that lasts a lifetime.
Colin Firth as George VI and Geoffrey Rush as Logue are absolutely brilliant, but so is Helena Bonham Carter, as Queen Elizabeth, the wife of the king, who does most of her acting with her eyes and her body. But the star of the movie is the brilliant script. It is witty, sad, happy, heartbreaking, and in the end, victorious. I almost expected the people in the theater to stand up and start singing God Save the King. This is absolutely one of the best movies I have seen in a very long time.