Taking £250 million ($400 million) worldwide, this 2010 production won seven British Academy Film Awards, including Best Film, Best Actor (Firth), Best Supporting Actor (Rush), and Best Supporting Actress (Helena Bonham Carter). The film also won four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Hooper), Best Actor (Firth), and Best Original Screenplay (Seidler). As well as wide discussion for its themes, language, historical accuracy, as well as deep emotional acting. Film critics giving it rave reviews.
Colin Firth stars in the leading role of the man who will become King George the VI, long before he gains his role. As a stuttering Prince, who loathes speaking at public events due to his speech issues. His wife (Helena Bonam Carter) watching as he does so, guiding him to various doctors trying to resolve the issue. After a train wreck of a public speech at Wembley, Firth is determined to never see another professional again and just hide away from public life.
His wife has other ideas.
She locates an older Austrailian man living in London, Lionel Logue. Asking him to take on the case. Lionel has extreme ideas of how the sessions should take place. In his own area only, not coming to the Prince. That they should be on first name terms and equals, which Firth extremely objects to on his first session. Saying it is completely inappropriate. He wants to storm out the session, but Logue convinces him to stay to win a bet.
He bet him, a shilling. That he can make Firth read a passage from a book perfectly. If he does, they will continue sessions. What he doesn't tell the Prince is, at the point of reading the section he will be having music blasted into his ears so can hear nothing. The session is recorded onto vinyl. Which when Firth gives up and refuses to hear played after, Lionel forces him to take the recording home.
It is only some days later when the Prince rediscovers the recording. He realises that he does indeed speak perfectly through the entire piece. Leading him to go back to the unconventional treatments of Lionel. Which seem to mostly revolve around singing, swearing, dancing or rolling on his feet to help him find ways around the words. Trying to find a way to prepare him for becoming King. After his older brother, who takes the Throne after their father passes. Decides he wants to marry a twice-divorced American lady, which the Government and Church will not allow.
This is not my usual type of film by any means. I loath anything historical, and viewed the whole production with disinterest. I only decided to watch it after I heard reports on how well acted it was. Grudgingly, on one of those nights where there is nothing better on the tv. I sat down to watch it. Soon finding myself drawn into the storyline in a way I never expected. As I watched this young man's transformation from a few harsh stuttered words to a polished professional giving full speeches to the whole country.
Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush are the key features of the film, with 90% of the scenes revolving solely around the two of them and their interactions with each other. From fighting against each other to grudging co-operation, to respect, and eventually deep friendship. The little fights, the disagreements keeping the relationship realistic of true friendship. As well as Firth's defense of Rush after finding out something about his past, when the Church tells them they must part treatments together. The joy from Rush, when Firth starts to get things right.
With any two other actors, I don't think they could have pulled it off. Yet with these, it doesn't look like acting, doesn't look like you are watching a movie. More like you are watching two close friends of yours sort out a problem between themselves. Three times I have watched the film in the last couple of years, and every time I am still amazed at the deep characterisation between the two. Every time, it still appears fresh, new, exciting. The 'swearing' scene never fails to bring people to tears of laughter. A production well worth a few hours of your time.
Sarah Beth James