Rating: 5/5 Stars
By Samantha Relph, Cinema Manager
Tom Hooper’s film tells of how the Duke of York, affectionately known as ‘Bertie’ (Colin Firth) by his family, afflicted by a terrible stutter, enlists the services of unorthodox Australian speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush).
From the very beginning we are drawn into what an agonising ordeal it was for the Duke to make a public speech, a situation made even worse with the expansion of radio broadcasts. Supported by his wife, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham-Carter) he endures therapy sessions with numerous ‘experts’ before encountering the unflappable Logue. What a brilliant scene it is when the two first meet! The rapport throughout between Firth and Rush is a tour de force with some wonderfully funny encounters.
Bertie begins to open up to Logue and, when he is unexpectedly crowned King George VI after his brother abdicates, Logue is with him every step of the way. As war looms, the nation needs a voice and the final scene builds like a crescendo as we hear The King’s Speech …
Firth has already collected a Golden Globe for Best Actor for this role – and what a majestic one it is! I was totally absorbed in his journey; the desperation, panic, hopelessness, anger and courage which, for me, made this one of the most stirring portraits of monarch I have seen.
This film has real breadth of appeal, Hooper’s direction is flawless and there are some fine supporting performances. Stirring and emotional I wanted to see it again – highly recommended.