The King's Speech (Tom Hooper, 2010)


What's it about? A historical drama based around the true-life relationship between King George VI (Colin Firth), who suffered from a debilitating stammer, and his speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), who attempts to cure him using some unorthodox methods. Can he do so before the King has to deliver a speech to the nation on the eve of WWII?

Is it any good? In structure, a fairly routine underdog-beats-the-odds film, but it's put together with aplomb, hits the emotional beats without feeling over-manipulative and has a nice sense of history about it. Performance-wise, Rush and Firth are equally excellent, but the tried-and-tested combination of monarchy and disability means Firth naturally became the one to deliver The Oscar Speech, whilst Helena Bonham-Carter, Michael Gambon and Guy Pearce lend good support.

I don't trust you. What do others think? Critics were impressed (95% on Rotten Tomatoes), but the movie-going public really took to it in a surprising way, with several screenings ending with a spontaneous round of applause. A textbook definition of a crowd pleaser and it duly took home 4 major Oscars for Picture, Director, Actor and Screenplay, alongside a host of other awards.

Anything else I should know? A sequel is in the works, in which King George is challenged to take part in a televised debate with Apollo Creed. Logue must abandon his treatment of a young Prince Philip for Tourette's Syndrome to be his corner man once more.

What does the Fonz think? One is impressed.





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