King’s Speech will lift your soul

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THE plot for The King’s Speech isn’t exactly a difficult one to get your head around.

There’s a King who stutters, then he gets some help and he doesn’t stutter any more.

It’s not the sort of film for someone who gets off on complicated plots with more twists and turns than a game of Snake.

But what it does offer is a simple premise that is excellently executed.

Multiple award winner Colin Firth stars as King George VI (as King Albert would have been too ‘Germanic’, we are told), who suffers from a stammer when addressing his nation, and seeks help from Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) who insists on calling him Bertie even though only his close family can call him that.

After the death of his father King George V – played masterfully by Michael Gambon, who is brilliant as the scathing father and the dementia-ridden old man, and the scandalous abdication of King Edward VIII (Guy Pearce), Bertie suddenly finds himself the King of England.

With a country on the brink of war, Bertie’s wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) finds the eccentric Lionel Logue in a dingy office on Harvey Street and convinces the pair to try and make it work.

Firth is deserving of his plethora of awards picked up on the back of this performance. He is both miserable and hilarious as the afflicted monarch, but it is his friendship with Logue that really makes this film what it is.

The story is hilariously told as Logue gets Bertie to sing the words if he cannot say them, and to use pauses to shout out expletives and obscenities.

There is also the underlying story of the abdication of George’s brother Edward to allow him to marry Wallace Simpson of Baltimore – something which history fans will know far more about than I could pretend to.

This is a hugely likeable film, and despite opening a few weeks ago, the cinema was packed with people of all ages comign to see if it really did live up to the hype.

Unlike so many films that rarely manage to meet your expectations, for me this surpasses them.

For showtimes at Odeon Silverlink visit: http://www.odeon.co.uk/fanatic/film_times/s17/