by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban
The King of the title in the movie the King’s Speech is played by Colin Firth, so when my friend Peggy called to ask if I wanted to go watch the said movie with her, I said yes. Yes, indeed. No questions asked.
As you may remember if you have been following my picks, I love Colin Firth ever since I saw him as Darcy in the BBC miniseries version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I have watched him in many movies since. In serious roles (A Single Man) and not so serious (Mamma Mia), in movies I reviewed here (Easy Virtue) and others I mentioned only on passing (Dorian Gray). I recommend them all.
So, I confess, my reasons to watch The King’s Speech had nothing to do with the movie. In fact, I didn’t expect to like it that much. I had read the reviews and thus, thought I knew the story. And I was right, I knew the story, yet, I was wrong, for I found the movie surprisingly entertaining.
The King’s Speech is based on the true story of Prince Albert who became king (King George VI) upon his older brother’s abdication in 1936. Afflicted with a stammer that made his public speaking a colossal challenge, Prince Albert did not want to be a king but took it as his duty and was crowned soon afterward.
But as Hitler’s power rises in Germany and war seems imminent, the necessity of the king to address and inspire the nation becomes ever more pressing. The king panics first, then, with the help of his loving wife and an unorthodox therapist, he works to overcome his handicap.
The speech he delivers on September 3rd, 1939 is history. You can hear the original by clicking here.
If you want to know how he came to do it, you must go see the movie. It is well worth it. Click here
for the preview and an interview with Colin Firth if you need extra convincing.
If you’re thinking to bring your children to watch it and worry about the R rating, fear not. “It’s because of some swear words,” Colin Firth tells us. “But my kids hear far worse at soccer matches in London.” (Interview by Walter Scott at the Parade magazine on Sunday, January 16).
As for those of you who remember Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, the movie holds a surprise as you may recognize Elizabeth Bennett’s Jennifer Ehle as Mr. Lionel Logue’s wife.
The King’s Speech has received four nomination from the Screen Actors Guild: Actor in a leading role: Colin Firth as King George VI, Supporting Actress: Helena Bonham Carter as his wife, Supporting actor: Geoffrey Rush as his therapist Lionel Logue and Cast in a Motion Picture: the full ensemble.
And if these nominations are any indication, as they usually are, we can expect The King Speech will also be nominated for the Oscars on January 25.
I hope it does.