‘The King’s Speech’ deserves the plaudits

When King George V (Michael Gambon) dies in 1936, eldest son Edward (Guy Pearce) ascends to the throne, but his reign is shrouded in scandal as he continues to romance American divorcee Wallis Simpson (Eve Best).

‘The King’s Speech’ deserves the plaudits

Cert 12, 113 mins, Comedy/Drama

Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Jennifer Ehle, Claire Bloom, Michael Gambon, Eve Best.

When King George V (Michael Gambon) dies in 1936, eldest son Edward (Guy Pearce) ascends to the throne, but his reign is shrouded in scandal as he continues to romance American divorcee Wallis Simpson (Eve Best).

Love triumphs over duty and Edward abdicates, forcing youngest son Albert (Colin Firth) into the spotlight.

However, the newly crowned King George VI suffers from a crippling stammer, which renders him unable to deliver public addresses. With war imminent and the country looking to its king for leadership, Queen Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) approaches unconventional Australian-born speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) to help her husband overcome his fears.

Feted with four Oscars earlier this year including Best Picture and Best Actor, ‘The King’s Speech’ is a crowd-pleasing, heart-tugging gem, seen through the eyes of a man who is frightened to say a word for fear of what might – or might not - come out.

Tom Hooper’s film is an impeccably crafted chapter from recent British history that charts a remarkable and unlikely friendship between two men from opposite sides of the class divide.

David Seidler’s script elegantly dissects the relationship between monarch and commoner, creating memorable exchanges that provide the film with huge laughs and a strong emotional heartbeat.

Firth delivers the performance of his life, battling valiantly against his condition, while Rush is hysterical as the linguist who refuses any concessions to his king.

Their double-act is glorious, including an unforgettable barrage of expletives in the name of therapy. Carter is heartwarming as the woman who believes in her husband when so many doubt his resolve.

Rating: 5/5

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