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