The King’s Speech



Like a lot of people at the moment, I have seen The King’s Speech. It is a great movie starring outstanding actors, namely Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter.

I had never heard about George VI’s stammer until a few weeks before the film as released but now the Internet is full of stories that relate it as well as archives about his friendship with his speec h herapist Lionel Logue..

Although we get a lot of foreign films in France, most of them are dubbed rather than subtitled. When the film was first shown here, it was only in French and the linguist in me had no desire whatsoever to hear the king of England speak French! However my frustration must have rippled to such an extent that this week now the original version (with subtitles) can be seen once a day.

Colin Firth is perfect for the role as both a monarch in the making and a man who suffers greatly due to his speech impediment. Whenever he speaks we see him struggle and suffer with him.

The scenes where the king confronts his unorthodox and uncompromising therapist, are very entertaining. I can also very well imagine that some would be perfect for use in a language class.

Last, but not least, Helena Bonham Carter is a convincing and supportive wife as well as a credible queen-to-be. Like her husband, she is fully aware of how important it was for him to appear as a strong regal figure when both the country and Europe were in such turmoil.

If you are interested in knowing more about the story behind the story, here are a few links:
The film official website
The real speech
The WSJ interviews Mark Logue, Lionel Logue’s granson

21 thoughts on “The King’s Speech

  1. Helena Bonham Carter is one of my favorite actresses. I would see any movie that she is in – not that I get to many movies other than Harry Potter or whatever it is my daughter wants to see.

    Glad you got to see it with English. I always prefer seeing a movie in Hebrew with subtitles rather than dubbed, but I can’t recall seeing any Israeli movie dubbed. We don’t get many foreign films at all in the regular theaters in Central New Jersey (in Boston, there are many theaters that specialize in non-Hollywood films. Sigh).

    • “Helena Bonham Carter is one of my favorite actresses. I would see any movie that she is in”
      Then this is a film for you. Her first scene with the speech therapist is wonderful; lots of subtle understatements. Just listening to her beautiful diction plunges the spectators in the England of the 1930s.

  2. I haven’t seen this yet, but my parents just did and they raved about it. It was great, they said. All the reviews and programming (on the radio) that I saw/heard have really piqued my interest. I also love HBC. She’s great and quirky. I love that combination. Can’t wait to see this one! Thanks for the links.

  3. Colin Firth gave a great performance, he’s always great. I thought they did a good job of portraying the situation with his brother and Wallace Simpson. Did you know that the queen never forgave her brother in law for forcing her husband into the position of becoming king?

    • “Did you know that the queen never forgave her brother in law for forcing her husband into the position of becoming king?”
      No, I didn’t but it is clear that she did not like her.
      I like Colin Firth too.

  4. This movie’s been on my to-watch list for a long time now, and you just got me more interested in seeing it. I’ll check it out this weekend and let you know what I think 🙂

  5. I adore Helene Bonam Carter. She is amazing in any role she plays in. I like Geoffrey Rush, and his skill in his role as Lionel Logue was incredible. I loved the back and forth banter between him and Colin Firth, in their respective roles. I also enjoyed watching the techniques used by Logue.

    Colin Firth was excellent as the King, a man with so much to confront.

    What struck me was the caring and love displayed by the king and the queen-to-be for their children. It rivals what Prince Charles defines as lacking in his upbringing.

  6. I agree, the film was fantastic. The casting was superb – especially Guy Pearce as Edward VIII. He not only looked like him, but came across as sufficiently mean and weasel-like.
    It took me a while to get past the fact that Colin Firth doesn’t remotely resemble GVI. He is too tall and handsome. The king was short, very slender and very unprepossessing to look at.
    And Geoffrey Rush, what can one say – he is a gem and deserves a knighthood for his contribution to the arts. If you want to see him at his acting best, Les Miserables with Liam Neeson and GR as Javert is one of the best films of all time.
    Shabbat Shalom!

    • I did not really know what George VI looked like so the fact that he was played by Colin Firth did not disturb me.
      I’ll see if I can get hold of the version of “Les Misérables” you mentioned.

  7. I got dragged to this movie when I was in the US last month. It’s not typically my choice of genre (I generally prefer comedies with little to no plot…), but I really enjoyed it.

    It’s weird they dub everything in France. Shows how unwelcoming they are of outside culture, I guess… Here in Israel, all foreign movies and shows just have Hebrew subtitles. Unless they’re for kids. Then they’re dubbed. I’ve gotten so accustomed to reading subs on movies that I’ve begun to depend on them – even tho I speak fluent English. Especially when the accent is something other than standard American.

  8. ” Shows how unwelcoming they are of outside culture”
    I wouldn’t say that, especially concerning this type of films. France shows quite a variety of foreign films. It seems that it is the film distributors who think people won’t go and see a film that is subtitled.

  9. Pingback: Overdue Weekly Review | Ilana-Davita

  10. Okay, we finally saw this film last night. I loved it, and got all choked up at the end. Really, the film was beautiful, and the acting was excellent, and I just plain enjoyed it. Also, since we got the DVD, there are a number of extras that I’m interesting in viewing, like real speech from King George VI as well as the real Lionel Logue. Exciting! Of course, I have no time to watch them right now, but, well.

    • Thank you Rivki for taking the time to comment while you have so much on your hands at the moment. I am sure there are lots of things there I could use in class. Now I need to get the DVD.

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