• PG-13, 1 hr. 58 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Tom Hooper
    In Theaters:
    Nov 26, 2010 Limited
    On DVD:
    Apr 19, 2011
  • The Weinstein Company

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The King's Speech Reviews

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garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

August 13, 2013
The Duke Of York hires an unconventional speech therapist when faced with Royal duties in the burgeoning media age to help him with a stammer that prevents his public speaking. The premise behind The King's Speech is a rather dry one and the trailers themselves make it seem to be a cross between The Madness Of King George and Pygmalion, but thanks to some winning performances and an interesting script portraying a behind the scenes window onto recent history it transcends the traditional comedy of manners formula that nearly all British films seem obliged to follow. Colin Firth's portrayal of a man thrust into the public eye by events beyond his control is sublime and it's fascinating to see a snapshot of the man behind a public face completely controlled by propriety and social convention. There's a real warmth in his unlikely friendship with a brewer's son from Australia and the gentle humour and subtle direction makes a very refreshing change from the ADHD firework displays that seem to make up the vast majority of modern cinema. Maybe not the masterpiece its multi-award winning reputation suggests, but a quality cast and sensitive storytelling make for a fine lightly comic and insightful historical character study.
Jens S

Super Reviewer

November 4, 2010
The story of the stuttering king of England is a story of friendship. To behold how Geoffrey Rush slowly teaches Colin Firth to talk without fear and stutters while they are bonding, is a pleasure. Every scene between those two acting giants is pure gold. The rest of the cast is just as excellent. While the camera work is very unusual and odd at times, in the end it works in favor of the film, emphasizing the characters. The witty and smart screenplay takes a somewhat boring sounding premise and turns it into one of the most pleasing films of the year. Makes you happy.
Matt G

Super Reviewer

January 23, 2011
Overrated and forgettable.
Al S

Super Reviewer

January 30, 2011
Movies truly don't get any better than this film that we have here. Colin Firth gives a triumphant and towering performance, just when we thought with his performance in last year's A Single Man couldn't get better, well he exceeds expectations and gives an amazing performance that will be talked about for years. Geoffrey Rush is magnificent, he gives his best performance in years and shines with great commitment, humor and heart. Rush and Firth gives incredibly inspiring and heart-filled performances that will stand the test of time. Guy Pearce is terrific. Helena Bonham Carter is wonderful. This movie is a total must-see for everyone. It's deeply moving, very funny, heartbreaking and absolutely unforgettable. An irresistible and fascinating film that just fills your heart with joy. This movie is a true masterpiece. An excellent movie that i loved and truly will never forget. One of the greatest and most inspirational movies ever made. It delivers some of the finest acting and storytelling told in film.
Christian C

Super Reviewer

October 27, 2012
I can't imagine how an actor could play a person with a stutter so perfectly. Colin Firth really is an exceptional actor. Fine performaces all around. Costumes and locations were perfect. If you like historical movies, you'll love this film.
Louis R

Super Reviewer

October 27, 2012
Not just the solid, well acted, oscar scented affair we (certainly I) might expect, but urgent, creative and very, very eloquent.
Sam B

Super Reviewer

January 30, 2011
The King's Speech is a conventional drama to be sure, but it expertly mixes emotion, humor, and suspense, and does away with the complexities that would usually come with a story so entrenched in politics, to become an instant classic.
Joshua W

Super Reviewer

August 9, 2012
This is the perfect example of Oscar bate... but the difference between this and every other Oscar bate film is that this is actually a good film... a really good film... a DAMN good film.
Matthew Samuel M

Super Reviewer

July 26, 2012
Acting is great, of course, but the film works with so little plot, so little drive, that it becomes more of an acting exercise for British stars than an actual cinematic experience.
Simply Cinema
Simply Cinema

Super Reviewer

March 17, 2011
I'm just going to be honest and say that I don't always like to go see movies that make me feel stressed or sad. This may sound like a reasonable statement, yet people go everyday to see movies that are terribly sad and stressful and usually make you cry. These usually win Oscars. You may be thinking, "what about feel good movies"? Well, these so called "feel good" movies are really a big sham. The make you feel so bad and depressed that you want to go home and eat an entire case of frozen yogurts while crying on the phone to your sister, and then they give you one tiny, little happy moment for the protagonist that you jump with joy that something finally turned out ok for that person. They basically punch you in the gut and then give you a candy. But sometimes I would rather just go and see a nice, relaxing film with interesting characters and not have to worry about having a heart attack from a shear overdose of drama in the middle of the theatre. The kind of film that you sit with your hands behind your head and a smile on your face while your watching. This is the kind of movie that "The King's Speech" is.



Personally, I think the world really needs a movie like "The King's Speech". These days people seem to think that throwing your emotions over a water fall is the only way a film can be considered excellent. People seem to focus on the events surrounding the characters rather than the actual development of the characters. "The King's Speech" changes that. You may think that there isn't enough story to be put into a film about a guy's speech impediment, but the story isn't really whats important to the film. It's the characters that really make the film. Everything in the film is focused on bring the development of each character up a level. Rather than story being a series of events that distract from character, they are things that become parts of the characters and make them even more interesting. And these events aren't extremely stressful, they are actually interesting, something a few movies out now could learn a thing or to about being. But what really makes these characters interesting are the actors behind them. Everyone is talking about Collin Firth's Academy Award winning performance as King George the VI, but I think that Geoffrey Rush's role as Lionel Logue was just as good and maybe even better. he did a perfect job at portraying a regular everyday guy. The character wasn't anything special, but like every person he has his own special qualities. He also really brought out the interesting relationship between King George and Lionel. It made us ask questions about equality down to it's essence and what it really means to people. And of course, he was hilarious. At least 50% of the funniest lines in that movie came from Rush. He has fantastic comedic timing, but in a realistic sort of way that you usually don't find in comedies. It made the film generally interesting and pleasant to watch. Of course, Rush wasn't the only fantastic actor, the entire cast (which has 3 actors from Harry Potter in it, I might add) did a great job with the film. The only one I could think of being a problem was the guy who played Peter Petegrew in Harry Potter playing Churchill. He really overplayed the role, which somewhat surprised me because I didn't think that Churchill was a role you could overplay. But apparently you can. Still though, it hardly went noticed with the perfect formulation of the movie. Another thing I think should be noticed is the use of music in the film. In the final scene when they had the classical music playing, I found myself moving my hands like a conductor with the flow of it. The scene was like a waltz, except with words rather than feet. It is truly a fantastic film.

I have heard people say that the film was a suck up for the Oscars. It was a period piece with British actors and based on historical events. But you know what, I don't care. I enjoyed it and thats all that really matters in the end. If you haven't seen it yet, then make sure to if you enjoy having a genuinely pleasant good time.
Albert K

Super Reviewer

January 20, 2011
Every now and then, there's a feel-good film that comes along and what should be a cliche, dull movie, is far from that; "The King's Speech" is one of these movies; it excels in every form and does it with brilliant results. Yeah, its fixated on a familiar type of storytelling, but at the core, there's a very sentiment narrative paired with such a cohesive package that the only drawback to such a spectacularly well-made film such as this is how it is TOO sentimental. Honestly, it isn't THAT sentimental compared to the likes of poppy teenage flicks; its not cheesy, thank God.

An immediate stand out is the sublime, perfect cinematography and editing. There's plenty of AAA movies coming out nowadays that manages to pull off breathtakingly shot scenes 70% of the time, but I dare to say that "The King's Speech" has the same high quality 99% of the film's length. Amazing. How did "Inception" win best cinematography, I do not know... but I know "The King's Speech" deserved it in every way. Other stand out achievements include the terrific acting of Colin Firth's character, George VI as one who has a speech impediment, the rich, intricate screenplay, and a narrative that's so alluring that even though the audience may understand what will transpire within the plotline, they can't help but to be sensitive to the characters' developments.

"The King's Speech" is a success in every way. It may be a little too Hollywood for some folks, but this is a Hollywood film reaching the highest caliber of blockbuster filmmaking with tip-top, best-of-the-best ensemble attributes.
Carlos M

Super Reviewer

February 5, 2011
A fascinating period drama with beautiful dialogue and exquisite perfomances, especially Firth and Rush, who both shine in their scenes together. The relationship between the two characters is well developed and the last scene is absolutely marvellous.
Alexander D

Super Reviewer

June 14, 2011
Well-performed, well-developed period piece with an absolutely unnecessary R rating.
maxthesax
maxthesax

Super Reviewer

January 20, 2012
It has often been said that life is all about the journey, not the destination. In The King's Speech you have the cinematic equivalent to the bromide as you are aware going in what will transpire, and yet the getting there is so well put together that you end up cheering, even though you knew that the king was going to succeed in giving the speech.

What prevails here is the sure hand of director Tom Hooper and the top notch acting of not just the main actors, but all the supporting cast as well. The gist of the story, in case you've been in a coma the past year, is that the Duke of York (2nd in line to the Brit throne, behind his brother the Prince of Wales), stutters. He has tried everything, at the encouragement of his loving wife (Helena Bonham-Carter), and just about everyone else - all to no avail. But then, just when the Duke resigned himself to his malady, Carter discovers a speech therapist with unconventional methods (a wonderful performance by Geoffrey Rush). What follows is a study of individuals with a lens on the class higharchy. Colin Firth as the Duke, expects a degree of decorum, which is the first thing Rush wants to tear down, stating "in this room we are equals".

Really, the synopsis doesn't do the film justice; for every nuance is simply perfect and you end up rooting for both characters (whose goal is the same). There are all kinds of pertinent bits of history thrown in (including a tour de force performance by Timothy Spall as Churchill), as well as a dash of Rasputinism that is rebuffed by Firth stating that Rush has overstepped his bounds.

The film really isn't a drama per se, as you certainly expect the end result, and yet it is more than a period piece and character study (as the characters don't really grow or change - just form a bond).

I guess the best way to illuminate why the film was Oscar worthy comes from a simple statement made early on by the Duke: "as I passed the commoners in the street, I realized that I had no insight into their lives... just as they have none into my own". Indeed; and I suppose that the insight into the lives of royalty is part of the allure of the film, though certainly not its sole point of interest.

In reflection, I am struck by the idea that the story is really an old concept, and in lesser hands could have been a bit of history/biographical sludge. That it rises above the mire is indeed a testimonial to all players involved, although I have a lingering thought that perhaps the gravity of the speech itself was somewhat overplayed - though I wasn't there and certainly don't have a finger on the collective psyche of the Brit populace circa 1940.
Zach B

Super Reviewer

January 9, 2012
As with a lot of people that happen to know me in real life, it will come as no surprise that I do, in fact, have something of a speech problem which causes very few people to understand me. The rest to not get a word I say. Plus, when I happen to speak in front of people, unless those people are like family to me, the words I will say will be stuttered a bit and hard to speak. This is not nor ever caused by choice, but by how I was born and the life I am leading. The same can be said about King George VI in this wonderful film about his struggle to overcome his own speech problems.
Watching this film, it is clear that Tom Hooper wants to stress the themes of courage, self respect, and power to overcome problems to an extreme amount. With this film, each of those themes is somehow present in one way or another. To be honest, it is a little tiresome, but appropriate for this film regardless. The other thing about the direction I liked was how he was able to make the character of King George VI (or Bertie as he is called in the film) more real and less like the idea of a king. When we think of kings, we think of them as powerful, huge, fearsome men that at any moment could have you killed. Here, Hooper as the king be played as a troubled, scared man who is just trying to deal with his life at hand. So, does he do a great job? No. But, for this film and what it needed, he done a rather exceptional job. The only other thing that stood out would have to be the influence of Stanley Kubrick that was used in numerous scenes. If you were to look at Kubrick's film 'Barry Lyndon', then look at this film, then other than the fact that these are both period pieces, the attention to detail in every scene plus camera movements are very reminiscent.
In 2011's Academy Awards, Colin Firth won the award for Best Actor in a Film. Now, I have a love hate relationship with Firth. He has been in some decent films and some horrible pieces of crap that I try to forget. Here, I am shocked at the dedication he puts into his performance. Everything from how he speaks to his reactions are outstanding to behold. But the thing that makes this performance even more memorable is how much of himself he puts into this character. Now, I am on the edge if he should have won his award for this film, but out of respect for him due to his performance, I am just going to say that this was an award well earned. The other actor I need to mention would have to be Helena Bonham Carter as Firth's wife in this film. Think back to every film Carter has been in. If you do, you will notice that she usually portrays dark, villainous, and typically psychotic female antagonists or antiheroes. Here, she plays a character that is almost the complete opposite of that. Here she plays her character to be carrying, sympathetic, and above all else, filled with love. Seeing her in this role shows me more of her talent then any film by Tim Burton or any of the Harry Potter films can show me. She is truly a good actress and worthy of her nomination for Best Actress (lost out to Natalie Portman for Black Swan).
The rest of this cast is wonderful. Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, Timothy Spall, they all do their roles with justice and power. Plus, how they delivered the dialogue for this film is a step up from your more recent period drama. Looking back on these costume dramas, the actors usually put on a fake accent, suck in a bunch of air, and then talk without knowing the full extent of what they are saying. Here, I love the acting because they show that they have an understanding of what is going on, the level of severity of the circumstances,
For the rest of this film, I will say that from the soundtrack to the script, this is a film that knew it had an important message to tell and that the royal family would not be pleased if a mockery was to have been made on this piece of cinema. What is the message of this film? Believe in yourself and you will overcome any and all problems you have. They may not be gone, but they can be overpowered to an extent. This is a wonderful film and one that should be required viewing in speech classes due to what is shown in this film. So, closing this review, in the words of the DVD/ Blu-Ray trailer: All Hail The King!
Dan S

Super Reviewer

February 21, 2011
A wonderfully-told, very moving story about the Duke of York's (Colin Firth) rise to power despite him not wanting it, and the stammer that made him shy and embarrassed for most of his life, until he meets a no-nonsense, honest speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) who inspires him to take on the difficult challenges that lie ahead. The reason this movie is so special is due to Firth and Rush, who both do a splendid job transforming a once uneasy relationship into a touching friendship. The backdrop of this whole story is appropriately uncertain, and what develops in the final twenty-five minutes or so is given masterful, meticulous care. This is one the best films of 2010.
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

November 2, 2011
Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush succeed in giving there best and most worthwile performances in this very inspirational period drama. What was only a small problem that King George had thats barely worth anyone mentioning unless they're doing a pub quiz has been turned into a masterful piece of cinema that's right at the top of the dramatisation ladder. The Kings Speech posesses one of the most witty scripts of modern day cinema and its carefully chosen and very talented cast flawlessly make it what it is. A masterpiece of royal proportions.
Scott G

Super Reviewer

October 28, 2011
I DID actually go to see this film in the cinema, I was not disappointed, everything about it intrigued me, no it didn't have any action at all but I knew that, I was there for quality, I got pure quality of acting and top notch drama.
Jason O

Super Reviewer

October 26, 2011
Colin Firth definitely rocked this role. Who would've ever thought a film about a speech impediment could be so entertaining, and...a Best Picture winner?
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