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Saturday, November 20, 2010

The King's Speech (2010)

Because of a pronounced stammer, the wife (Helena Bonham Carter) of the Duke Of York (Colin Firth) seeks out a speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) to help her husband overcome his handicap. While the Duke's brother (Guy Pearce) and future King's obsession with the American Wallis Simpson (Eve Best) threatens the throne and Hitler's rise to power threatens England's peace, Firth must contend not only with the psychological reasons behind his stammer but with the burden of greatness thrust upon him. With a solid screenplay by David Seidler and sensitively directed by Tom Hooper, this is a strong powerful beautifully sustained piece of work with a stunning Oscar caliber performance by Colin Firth. Impeccably acted down to the smallest role by a perfect cast, it's the kind of film that had the potential to be a dried up piece of Masterpiece Theatre retread but it's a vital, witty and uplifting without being schmaltzy. The effective score is by Alexandre Desplat. The marvelous cast includes Derek Jacobi, Claire Bloom, Michael Gambon, Timothy Spall (as Churchill), Anthony Andrews and Jennifer Ehle. Highly recommended.

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