Friday, January 28, 2011

'The King's Speech'

28 January 2011

A couple of years ago I heard a really good BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Play about King George VI working with Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue to conquer his stammer ahead of a live broadcast. I was intrigued to learn that this story was to be filmed and last weekend we went to see ‘The King’s Speech’. Tom Hooper’s film broadens the tale to encompass the abdication crisis and the outbreak of war. Colin Firth rightly deserves all the plaudits he is receiving for his performance as the King, Helena Bonham-Carter is great as Queen Elizabeth and Geoffrey Rush is very funny as Logue – I particularly enjoyed his audition for a local amateur theatre group – “too Australian” (which is all the more amusing as we then see Australian Guy Pearce playing Edward VIII). ‘The King’s Speech’ is one of those films where you can have lots of fun just spotting the well-known British actors in minor roles. It was lovely to see an all-too-rare appearance by Colin Firth’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ co-star, Jennifer Ehle (here playing the Australian Mrs Logue). It’s a very enjoyable film which manages to be gripping even though you know what’s going to happen. Historically fascinating, emotionally engaging and often extremely funny – bring on the Oscars!



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