The story is the historical drama that kicks off with the abdication of King Edward to marry Wallis Simpson of Baltimore, who was already married. It was a combo didn’t sit well with the Bits, meaning Edward had to choose between the throne of England and Mrs. Simpson. He chose Mrs. Simpson and walked away from the throne as Hitler was gearing up to march into Poland, kicking off World War II.
Edward’s abdication meant his brother, “Albert Frederick Arthur George,” became King by default. He took the name of George VI, and reluctantly accepted the reigns of government. However, the man clearly wasn’t cut out to be a king. A stammering problem made public speaking all but impossible and with radio having come on the scene along with the approach of war, lots of public speaking would be called for.
According to the BBC: “A diffident, even painfully shy, figure who battled throughout his life with a nervous stammer, George VI was the unlikeliest of sovereigns, thrust on to the throne when his brother, Edward VIII, abdicated in 1936.”
The stammering had to be corrected.
After all the people with “Dr.” in front of their names had tried and failed to correct the King’s speaking difficulties, his wife, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, seeks out a speech therapist by the name of Lionel Logue, an Australian who had been recommended to her even though his methods were said to be somewhat unorthodox.
The story is about how the two men, one the King of England, the other, a commoner, set out on a quest to resolve the King’s speaking problems, both knowing the entire British Empire will be in need of strong well-spoken figurehead for the upcoming fight with Germany.
All of it had to be very hush-hush, as it just wouldn’t do for anyone to know that the King was undergoing therapy. That sets up one of the film’s best scenes, as Logue’s wife comes home to their modest flat in London, to find both the King and Queen Mother are in the house.
The film stars Colin Firth as King George VI and Geoffrey Rush as Lionel Logue. You may remember Rush for his wonderful portrayal of the character “Barbossa” in “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
There are no car crashes or ear-splitting gunfire. There is no gratuitous sex. Not a single digital video rush designed to short circuit your synaptic sensors. There is however, plenty of outstanding acting coupled with a fascinating story that serves to educate as well as entertain.
I went to a matinee showing. The audience, which was on the older side, applauded at film’s end.
This will be one of the best movies of the year.