Sunday 26 December 2010

Movie Review: The King's Speech

When I first looked at Rotten Tomatoes, it had this film ranked at 95% but just now, it's ranked at 96%. A film can go up?

This British historical drama centers on King George VI played by Colin Firth and speech therapist Lionel Logue, played by Geoffrey Rush, who helped the king overcome a stammer. The time is around 1925 to 1939.

The story starts out with the Duke of York making a disastrous speech. He seeks help from Logue who works with the future king to develop his speaking skills. Lionel Logue, uncertified, without a diploma and a bit eccentric with the addition of being a part-time actor, somehow forms a bond with the king.

In 1936, King George V dies leaving Edward as King. Of course, Wallace Simpson comes into the picture and this ends with Edward abdicating making his brother king. With this and with the onset of war, Britain more than ever needs a king who will lead but to do so, he must speak and speak without a stammer. The film ends with King George VI making an important radio address calling upon his people for their courage in this newly declared war. With Logue's help, the King prevails over his disability and rising to the occasion of leading his people.

The end titles of the film state that the king rewarded Logue by inducting him into the Royal Victorian Order. My research shows that he was awarded an M.V.O (member) on 11 May 1937 and was elevated to C.V.O. (commander) in 1944.

Royal Victorian Order
This is an order of knighthood created by Queen Victoria. Unlike other honours which are bestowed on advice from British ministers, this honour is granted by the King or Queen themselves to recognise distinguished personal service to the Sovereign.

Conrad Black
Ah, how one thing leads me to another as a click on the various links in my research articles.

In 1919 in Canada, the Nickle Resolution was adopted which basically set a policy requesting that British Sovereigns do not grant various honours to Canadian citizens. This was originally put forward by William Folger Nickle who felt such honours were not consistent with democratic values. Although the House of Commons adopted the resolution, it was never sent to the King and it was never advanced to the Senate. As such, it is not legally bending for any government but has set a precedent which has been followed to a certain degree.

It was the Nickle Resolution that Prime Minister Jean Chrétian used to prevent Conrad Black from becoming a British Life Peer.

Final Word
This is an excellent film, a great historical drama. Firth and Rush are absolutely stupendous and the supporting cast is wonderful: Helen Bonham Carter as the Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother), Guy Pearce as King Edward and Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill. This is a great piece of entertainment made all that much more fascinating because it is history; it is fact not fiction. Yes, Rotten Tomatoes has this one accurately rated; it well deserves its 96%.


Rotten Tomatoes: The King's Speech: 96%

Wikipedia: The King's Speech

Wikipedia: George VI

Wikipedia: Lionel Logue

Wikipedia: Royal Victorian Order

Wikipedia: Canadian titles debate

official move web site

Official Trailer

68th Golden Globes - January 16, 2011
Best Performance in a Motion Picture - Drama: Colin Firth


Site Map: William Quincy Belle

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