Usually when I hear of a period drama I turn tail, run screaming and never look back. I find most of them (the ones I’ve seen) dreary, boring and sleep inducing. There are a few exceptions but right this moment I can’t think of a one. That said, if a filmmaker threw in a little Geoffrey Rush with his droll humor, a couple of pretty men (Colin Firth, Guy Pearce) and Helena Bonham Carter I might be convinced to at least have a look. Add critics raving, a Toronto Film Festival Audience Award win, Oscar buzz and an amusing clip - well, what can I do? I might have to bite the bullet and see The King’s Speech.
Set in 1936, The King’s Speech is a humorous look at Britain’s King George VI (Firth), who was literally thrown under the crown when his brother abdicated the throne to marry a commoner. The man who would rather not be King was suddenly expected to lead his country to war (with Nazi Germany). But Bertie, as the King was nicknamed, had a huge problem to overcome: the man could hardly speak a proper sentence. He had a terrible stutter and would freeze up in a one-on-one conversation, never mind trying to give a speech to unite a country. Enter Lionel Logue (Rush), an Australian speech therapist who employs a number of interesting therapies to help Bertie, as seen in this clip:
It’s nice to see Helena Bonham Carter back to form as Bertie’s wife, Queen Elizabeth. The King’s Speech also stars Michael Gambon as King George V, Guy Pearce as Edward VIII and Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill. Directed by Tom Hooper (“John Adams”, “Elizabeth I”), the film is set to hit theaters November 26, 2010.