Here’s one that has snuck up on us in the last fortnight. British Director Tom Hooper is currently making a splash in film world with his feature THE KING’S SPEECH. It has won awards at the Hamptons International Film Festival, The Hollywood Film Festival and the The Toronto International Film Festival.
On the face of it, it’s a movie aimed at fans of the British Royals. It concerns the struggle that King George the Sixth (father of the current Queen) had in learning to speak in public. He had a debilitating stammer, but until his brother Edward VIII abdicated the throne, he wasn’t going to get the top job and wasn’t expected to do much public speaking. He wasn’t important in the line of succession until his older brother quit in internationally controversial circumstances.
Bertie, as he was known by his family, became the King in December of 1936. A war was imminent and it was necessary for Bertie to learn how to speak properly to the public or as they were then, his subjects. His leadership was hereditary, but his ability to lead and inspire through his oratory was unformed because of his affliction.
Enter speech therapist, Australian Lionel Logue. His unconventional methods were frowned upon by other therapists, but the King felt Logue could help and slowly a friendship grew between two very different people.
George the Sixth is played by Colin Firth. Lionel Logue is played by Geoffrey Rush. Helena Bonham Carter plays The Queen Mother. Reports are that this is an uplifting movie with great performances and plenty of humour. We look forward to it.