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The King’s Speech is such a great entertaining as well as educational movie about the British Monarchy. Colin Firth plays King George VI, after his brother King Edward VIII, played by Guy Pearce, abdicates his place at the throne after their father’s (King George V, played by Michael Gambon) death.
King Edward VIII was madly in love with an American woman named Wallis Simpson, who had been twice divorced, and the Royals were having nothing to do with this. Edward’s love for Wallis was stronger than his desire to rule, so he stepped down and King George VI reluctantly stepped up to the plate.As we all know by now, Firth won an Oscar for his brilliant performance, and I absolutely love this film!
The King’s Speech, available from The Weinstein Company Home Entertainment and Anchor Bay Entertainment on April 19, is magnificent and this release, available on Blu-ray™ and DVD, allows viewers to be able to enjoy it at home, again and again.
As the movie and history unfolds, King George VI (nicknamed Bertie) had more problems than just being naïve; he also had a speech impediment, which I believed could be traced to his father’s heavy hand and his brother’s dominance over him. His wife, Elizabeth, played by Helena Bonham Carter, the future Queen Mother, arranges for him to see an eccentric speech therapist, Lionel Logue, played by Geoffrey Rush. After a rough start, the two delve into an unorthodox course of treatment and eventually forge a genuine friendship. Through this unexpected bond, the new monarch will overcome his stammer to find his voice, inspire his people, and rally the world.
After much animated and covert lessons and coaching by Logue, who wasn’t even a certified speech therapist, King George VI is ready for the most important speech of his life, as Great Britain went to war with Germany. The King’s Speech will have you laughing and near tears at the same time, as the King conquers his speech impediment.
The King’s Speech captured the crown at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards®, taking home the top Oscars® for Best Picture, Best Actor (Colin Firth), Best Director (Tom Hooper), and Best Original Screenplay (David Seidler).
The Stuttering Foundation of America, which has been a tremendous supporter of this film, and whose public service announcement is featured on every DVD, offers hope and help to those who stutter. Malcolm Fraser established the Stuttering Foundation because he felt the same dread of speaking in public that King George VI experienced in the 1940s. Inspired by the plight of “Bertie”, Fraser, a successful businessman who stuttered, went on to establish and endow the 64-year-old nonprofit Stuttering Foundation in 1947. The Stuttering Foundation provides a toll-free helpline, 800-992-9392, and free online resources on its Web site (www.StutteringHelp.org), including services, referrals and support to people who stutter and their families, as well as support for research into the causes of stuttering.
The King’s Speech on Blu-ray™ and DVD bonus features include an audio commentary with director Tom Hooper; a 20-minute “Making of The King’s Speech”; archival footage of the actual King George VI; and much more. For more information, visit http://www.kingsspeech.com/dvd.html.
Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago.
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