It's been 24+ hours since I watched The King's Speech, and I am still smiling whenever I think about it. What a tremendous movie! Funny, touching, inspirational, richly acted, soul stirring...you name it, and any positive adjective you can think of would apply to The King's Speech.
This movie is so much more than just the chronicle of the speech impediment of King George VI. Beginning before he ever thought about assuming the throne, Bertie (as his family called him) struggled mightily from childhood with a stammer that kept him on edge at all times. His beloved wife Elizabeth finds one more possible therapist, a Lionel Logue, whose methods are unconventional and who insists from the word go that Bertie will do things his way if he expects to see results. And there are results indeed, but a major setback strikes when Bertie's older brother David abdicates the throne. Not only must Bertie take over, he must now live his life very much in the public eye, and all this in the shadow of an increasingly volatile Hitler.
Colin Firth has long been a favorite of mine, and he absolutely shines as the shy Bertie. His is an Oscar so well deserved, but there is not a performance in The King's Speech that is sub-par. Helena Bonham Carter is superb as the loving Elizabeth; Michael Gambon is both regal and imposing as King George V; and Geoffrey Rush is so wonderfully perfect as Lionel Logue that words simply fail me. Rush can convey with a simple look so very much and his chemistry with the stammering Firth is both touching and hilarious.
Filled with awkward and funny moments, this movie is beyond wonderful. Even the soundtrack is perfect,with the stunning denouement both rousing and ominous. I simply cannot recommend it highly enough.
As an aside, it is helpful if you know a little about British history, including the relationship between Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, but it is not crucial to the enjoyment of the film. I just felt that it helped me to flesh out the relationships among the royals, but I would still have enjoyed this glorious movie nonetheless.