When god couldn't save the King, the Queen turned to someone who
The King's speech is a wonderful film about George VI (whose brother gives up the Kingdom for a woman) and his speech therapist Lionel Logue.On the eve of world war II, Hitler's ambition is so apparent that people can even smell the smoke of gunpowder, while at this time Edward--Bertie's brother leaves the interests of his country behind, but puts all his energy on the love affair with Mrs.Simpson, and even abdicates for her.As a result, Duke York is pushed onto the throne reluctantly.However, as a stammer who grows up in the shadow of his father and brother, Bertie has a big problem of giving a speech in front of the microphone, yet which is vital for a King.Fortunately, Queen Elizabeth finds a very special therapist Logue for Bertie, and through a series of training, things are starting to change for the better.At the end of this film, George VI gives an inspiring speech to his country, which perfectly encourages soldiers and England people.
To be or not to be, this is a question---to live intensively and richly, or merely to exist, that depends on ourselves.Without the crown, Bertie is just an ordinary person who is bad tempered and becomes a stammer because of an unhappy childhood.But I am deeply touched by his obsession when he tells a story for his girls, how I wish I could give him a hand at that time, but I can't.Actually, what makes him shoulder the responsibility successfully during that crisis is not his talent or something like that, but exactly, his obsession and bravery to challenge himself.As a stammer, he chooses to change, to live intensively and richly as a real King, not merely to exist and hide from his own flaws, just as he shouts, "I have a voice!I have a right to be heard!".Just as Lionel says"This fellow would be somebody great, he is just afraid of his own shadow." Bertie does deserve to be somebody great, instead of being buried in his own dark world and struggling for light.
It's Not the Mouth that Makes the Speech, It's the Heart
Most often, we should learn from Bertie.When compared with others, we
often feel ashamed of our own disadvantages and sometimes jealous of
other people's flame, while few realize that in fact, the biggest enemy
is ourselves.What we need to do is not defeating others, but challenging
yourself, in other words, to be a better you.Don't be afraid of
failures, after all, life is a tour of experiencing ups and downs.When
at the bottom of a valley, doesn't that mean every following step is
toward the top?As long as the present you is "richer" than the old you,
give yourself a warm smile and say out aloud, "I made it!".Never let
others look down to you, not even yourself.
What impressed me most in this movie is the friendship between Bertie and Lionel.There's no denying that we all have a friend who lights up our life and always be there for us when in need, with whom we form deeply sentimental attachments, not so much for social status as for a kind of mutual discovery of each other's and our own inner life.Lionel is not just a therapist, but such kind a friend for Bertie.At first, Bertie is not kind to Lionel and even tries to push him away, but as they know each other more, these two men begin to fall into step and Bertie's faith in his own voice is intensified as well.Finally, Bertie even treats Lionel as his family member to let him sit in his King's Box.
The war speech Bertie represents at the end of this movie is like a paper he hands in to his country after so long a time's hard work, which means a real King is born.Under the perfect cooperation of Beethoven's seventh symphony, people from different classes appear slowly with the same calm and peaceful smile, no fear, no anger, just bravery.I cannot help but clapping hands for Bertie and his beloved country.
What does a king's life look like? Is it always related to utmost dignity with glamorous palace and countless flowers, or shining but restrained smiles that show his wisdom and confidence? Unfortunately it is not true this time when you turn around and find some one trembling under the huge shadow of a throne, which seems to be too heavy to remain steadily on his head.
The Guardian, Thu 6 Jan 2011 15.00 GMT
Some films are known as "game-changers". This is not one of those films. It is a don't-change-the-game-er, or yet a jolly-well-change-it-back-er: a traditionally mounted, handsomely furnished British period movie, available at a cinema near you in dead-level 2D. Set in the 1920s and 30s, it is populated by that sort of well-suited patrician Englishman of yesteryear who drinks spirits in the middle of the day, whose middle and index fingers are rarely to be seen without an elegant cigarette interposed, and who pronounces the word "promise" as "plwomise" (try it).
Written by David Seidler and directed by Tom Hooper, The King's Speech is a richly enjoyable, instantly absorbing true-life drama about the morganatic bromance between introverted stammerer King George VI and his exuberant Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue: an affair brokered by George's shrewd wife in her pre-Queen-Mum incarnations as the Duchess of York, and then Queen Elizabeth. These characters are performed with pure theatrical gusto by Colin Firth as the miserably afflicted monarch, Geoffrey Rush as the twinkly eyed speech coach and Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen who has to learn to like Logue by overcoming her own snobbery – which she incidentally never troubles to disguise as shyness.
As well as this, the movie is an intriguing, if slightly loaded new perspective on the abdication crisis of 1936. Above all, it's a smart anti-Pygmalion. Like Shaw's Eliza Doolittle, the poor King as a younger man is forced to speak with his mouth full of marbles, and comes close to Eliza's fate of swallowing one.
But where she had to smarten up and talk proper, George VI (formerly the Duke of York, always known as "Bertie") has to move in the other direction: he has to loosen up, be less formal, less clenched, less clinically depressed. The movie cleverly casts a new light on the dysfunctional tremor at the heart of Britain's royal family, and cheekily suggests there was a time when a British monarch experimented with psychoanalysis, disguised as speech therapy.
Firth's face is a picture of misery in the opening scene, under his top hat, as if attending his own funeral. It is his first public appearance, required to speak through a microphone to vast crowds at the empire exhibition at Wembley stadium, and via live radio to the nation. His stammer means he can hardly get a word out, and the nation cringes with embarrassment. His formidable father, played by Michael Gambon with England's gruffest beard, makes clear to him that this is a new media age. It's not just a matter of looking frightfully regal on a horse, the monarch has to be able to master the radio microphone. Spectacle must not be replaced by dead air.
This is where Lionel Logue comes in – a bullish Australian with bohemian manners and shabby premises on Harley Street. He is a failed actor who is everywhere patronised as a colonial, especially by the toffee-nosed English theatrical types for whom he still hopefully auditions. We see him trying out for an amateur company by doing Richard III's "winter of our discontent" soliloquy. (Might Hooper and Seidler have considered making Logue do the "popinjay" speech by Hotspur from Henry IV Part One – the Shakespeare character traditionally played as a stammerer? Too obvious?) In his script, Seidler creates sharp exchanges as Logue fearlessly barges through the pompous royal formality that's all part of the problem, cheerfully deriding his previous medical advisers: "They're all idiots!" "They've been knighted!" splutters Bertie. "Makes it official then, doesn't it?" Slowly, Bertie opens up to his new friend about his unhappy childhood, and doesn't notice how his speech is improving.
The crisis comes when Logue gets too close to his patient, and Rush showshow "red carpet fever" is gettingthe better of him: he even affects some anti-colonial hauteur in dismissing the ambitions of Edward's mistress, Mrs Simpson, scoffing at the idea of "Queen Wallis of Baltimore".
Meanwhile, the abdication means poor, stuttering Bertie has to shoulder the ultimate burden while "Herr Hitler" is whipping up the stormclouds of war.The nation needs a king who can rally the forces of good in a clear, inspiring voice. Are Bertie and Lionel upto thejob?
As well as the three leads, there are two tremendous supporting turns: Guy Pearce is a terrific Edward, the smooth, obnoxious bully who mocks Bertie's stammer and, marooned in Sandringham, yearns for phone sex with Mrs Simpson – what he ickily calls "making our own drowsies". Gambon has two great scenes as George V: first as the robust patriarch, barking orders at his quailing son, and then – the sudden decline is a modest coup du cinéma – incapable and on the verge of dementia, mumbling and maundering as his privy councillors make him sign away his executive responsibility.
Not everyone's going to like this film: some may find it excessively royalist and may, understandably, feel that it skates rather too tactfully over Bertie and Elizabeth's initial enthusiasm for appeasement and Neville Chamberlain. In this version, Chamberlain hardly features at all – we appear to pass directly from Stanley Baldwin's resignation to the sudden appearance of First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, jowl-quiveringly, sinew-stiffeningly played by Timothy Spall – always giving advice and apparently permitted to wield a lit cigar in the sovereign's presence. But The King's Speech proves there's fizzing life in old-school British period dramas – it's acted and directed with such sweep, verve, darting lightness. George VI's talking cure is gripping.
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Here is the man, who is without friends, who suffers from painful memories since he was a child, and who frets that he might hardly survive from the eternal humiliation in front of the public with being called "King George the Stammerer". For him, being a king is the last thing he wants to do. He is George VI---the hero of a splendid historical movie The King's Speech.
The whole story is based on the social and historical background before World War II. The British Empire is facing "the Depression at home, the rise of fascism abroad, and the arrival of the mass media as a major force in people's lives". After George V died in 1936, his elder son Edward VIII, abdicated just after the accession to the throne in order to marry American double divorcee Mrs. Simpson, and the duty fell to our hero---Prince Albert, now George VI, who has struggled with his speech from an early age. And finally, in 1939, as Britain is entering into war with Germany, George VI has to face a radio microphone and deliver an inspiring speech to a quarter of the Earth's population, who are expecting firmness, clarity and resolve. Whether he can do a good job or not? That is the question remains for audience.
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