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207 of 222 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best film I have seen for ages - don't miss it.
I was lucky enough to see this wonderful film at the Bath Film Festival, having dragged two friends along as well. We all agreed it is the best film we have seen for ages.
A film for adults (and a 12 year old can be an adult), no cameras tricks/ CGI/ gory scenes, a simple story of two remarkable men, one of whom just happened to become the King of England - by...
Published on 19 Nov 2010 by Roman Citizen

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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film but poor blu-ray transfer - beware!
I won't comment on the film, other than to say it deserves the praise heaped on it. This review concerns the blu-ray transfer. For some reason, Momentum have presented the film at 1080i/50 (an interlaced transfer playing back at 25fps). The picture itself looks fine, but the film suffers from the old PAL speed-up problem, running about 4% too fast. There is absolutely no...
Published on 11 May 2011 by Anorakus


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207 of 222 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best film I have seen for ages - don't miss it., 19 Nov 2010
This review is from: The King's Speech [DVD] (DVD)
I was lucky enough to see this wonderful film at the Bath Film Festival, having dragged two friends along as well. We all agreed it is the best film we have seen for ages.
A film for adults (and a 12 year old can be an adult), no cameras tricks/ CGI/ gory scenes, a simple story of two remarkable men, one of whom just happened to become the King of England - by accident. There are inaccuracies (Churchill was not a friend of George VI until after he became PM) and some scenes which do not ring quite true - the two men arguing in the park for example - but colin Firth is simply marvellous, as is Geoffrey Rush (and indeed, all of the stellar cast).
See it and laugh with, and weep for, a man pushed into a position he did not want, with a crippling handicap to overcome, but who became in the words of many, an ordinary hero.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Live the King!!, 10 May 2011
This review is from: The King's Speech [DVD] (DVD)
Went to watch this as it was getting a lot of Award Season Buzz.
Found that it deserves all the praise that it is getting.
For this is truly a Brilliant Movie in every department.
Story, Acting, Direction and Production Values.
The story is very engaging right from the first scene.
It is then told in a brisk pace and laced with Wonderful Humour.
The Acting is terrific. And Award nominations are sure to follow
Colin Firth is just exceptional, and in his scenes in Public with his Stammer or excruciating to watch as any horror movie.
Geoffery Rush matches him step for step as the unorthodox Therapist. Helen Bonham Carter is good in a small role.
Guy Pearce, and Timothy Spall act their parts well.
Overall a Very Entertaining True Story
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Say it to me ...as a friend", 22 Mar 2012
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
There are plenty of films about the monarchy, but The King's Speech is less about pomp and ceremony and more about the personal story of a man who reluctantly became King. The shadow of his elder brother provided some sanctuary where the stammering knock-kneed Albert could try to hide from his affliction, but when it was clear that he would replace Edward on the throne there was no way to elude his public.

It would be easy to portray the stuttering Duke Of York as an upper-class buffoon but Colin Firth is well cast as Bertie and manages to demonstrate warmth towards his family while also showing the more restrained nature of royal life. His stammer is believable but the man is clearly more than just speech impediment, it's not his biggest feature but it is something which has held him back and still provides a major obstacle to his potential - hence his relationship with speech therapist Lionel Logue. Their acquaintanceship begins in an unusual manner, it's an awkward introduction and a break from the usual formalities - Logue making a point of them being in *his* territory now, addressing His Majesty as 'Bertie' and insisting that "it's better if we're equals". The unconventional nature of their relaxed meetings is key to Logue's technique and also provides a forum for Bertie to be himself, the friendship developed between them would last throughout their lives. We get to see a friendship grow organically and it looks realistic within the confines of regal life, you can imagine that their meetings were very much like those on screen. Such a film could quite easily have descended into a cheesy bromance, but thankfully this remains understatedly plausible rather than a Hollywood-ised "When Bert met Lionel". The charm which Geoffrey Rush used to good effect in bringing Peter Sellers to life in "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" also provides Logue with a friendly magnetism which is in contrast to the stuffy royal courts, you instantly warm to him. He treats the stammer not as a mechanical failure to deliver words, but as the manifestation of something deeper. One of the most powerful scenes of the film happens to be when Logue encourages Bertie to open up and discuss his childhood - enabling us to see the grown up version of a boy who was shown little emotion by his parents while being abused by a nanny, made to feel inferior to one brother and watch his other be hidden until his death. The psychological roots of his stammer seem obvious in hindsight!

The King's Speech is not only an insight to the royal affairs of the time, but also shows the changing nature of public perception towards the monarchy aided by new media - in this case radio which was in practically every house in Britain. Events usually reported by newspaper were now brought to the attention of the masses as soon as they happened and royal speeches were heard live all over the globe. There are several references made to this new-fangled technology and the film really manages to capture the importance of such broadcasts. The monarchy was in crisis during the 1930s with Edward VIII abdicating, and German association causing suspicion on the run up to war. The film no doubt drew on material from the book The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy, it's a title which may sound a little over-grand but is probably quite true. George VI's growing confidence and competence made him a focal-point of British pride and public opinion of the Monarchy shifted significantly, the popularity George carved out is arguably still strongly felt 70 years on.

The Blu-Ray transfer suits the film well, colours are quite muted to give a period tone. This isn't a masterpiece of high-definition and although detail is beyond DVD, it's not quite as finely detailed as you expect from a modern film. Graining isn't bad given the often dimly lit nature of the scenes but there are one or two scenes which suffer more than others - but overall the picture is clean. The bonus features include a 'making of' documentary which is interesting but doesn't delve too deep, interviews with the cast and also with Logue's grandson. My favourite extras are the two speeches (one from each end of the Second World War) made by George VI, listening to them shows just how good a job Colin Firth did at recreating the voice of our wartime King.

In a nutshell: The King's Speech has been highly praised and deservedly so, I don't feel it's one of the greatest films ever made but I do think it contains some brilliant performances and Firth/Rush seem to have an authentic chemistry which doesn't diminish on repeat viewing. Great character acting and good humour bring to life a friendship which ensured that a man who would rule over a quarter of the world population could finally feel able to address them without shame.
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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous and surprisng, 12 May 2011
By 
ds (Whitby, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The King's Speech [DVD] (DVD)
This film is notable for a number of reasons. Some of them are wholly predictable, other less so. So, let's start with the things one might expect. First, the quality of the cast is beyond reproach. Colin Firth is quite startlingly good as the shy, diffident and afflicted future King. Rush is avuncular and authoritative, while the supporting cast are pitch perfect. The delectable Helena Bonham-Carter puts more flesh on the young Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, and future Queen Mother, than even this high quality script might have allowed, while the brief appearance of Michael Gambon is a nice study in both Saturnine severity and pitiful confusion as George V nears his end. For me, however, the cream of the supporting cast is Guy Pearce's portrayal of the Duke of Windsor. David is shown as essentially complacent and, beneath it all, weaker than his poor, derided brother. Pearce nails the clipped frustration and the arrogant languor perfectly.

So far, so good. Where this film scores even better, however, is in the rather more playfully unpredictable script and the way the performers inhabit it. At first sight, this may appear to be nothing more than a rather dry period piece, but what stands out when you watch it is just how FUNNY it is. Yes, you heard right: funny. When I first saw this at the cinema I laughed out loud more loudly and more often than I have at many comedy films. The whole thing careers along at a lively pace, held together with this quick-witted and coruscating wit. Possibly my favourite moment of the whole film comes when Lionel Logue's wife arrives home early from playing bridge to find some rather unexpected visitors to her home. It's a beautiful little pen painting of the awkwardness of the class system of the time, and beautifully judged by all. But of course, all this wouldn't work as a comedy alone, which makes the quality of the dramatic playing all the more satisfying. Since receiving the DVD, I've watched it several times more and have not tired of the standard of the work and the little gems that each view manages to reveal

There are no real low points; this is a film that does something very rare: it manages to combine a host of already exemplary components into a pretty near perfect whole. There are no major faults at all, and very few minor ones that I can remember. It is, quite clearly, a film of a very high standards, and richly deserves the plaudits it has received.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The King's stammer., 30 Jan 2011
By 
J. Clark (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The King's Speech [DVD] (DVD)
As a lifelong stammerer and of a "certian age" this film was a "must see" on two counts.
It did not dissapoint me in any respect.
Many reviewers have adequatly commentated on the film, I would like to review the film as a stammerer.

Colin Firth portrays the emotional and physical conditions of stammering perfectly, the anger, fustration, embaressment, shame, ect are well acted. The "blocks" are also accurate.

I found the film "painful" to watch at some points, but that was because I totally empathised with the King as he struggled to be fluent in his speech and I have gone through the same "struggles" myself in my life.

I would suggest that this film is shown to all young stammerers as an example on how speech dysfunction does not mean that you cannot achieve the highest office in the land.

It is good to see a stammer used in a dramatic rather than a comedic situation.

This is a "powerful" film that portrays stammering as a condition that need not be totally debilitating, but something that is part of your life and that you have to just "deal" with.

I would recommend this film to any stammerer.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deserved Oscar winner, 12 Dec 2011
By 
S. EXETER "Online-Inquirer" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Despite taking the top awards at the 2011 Oscar Ceremony, or perhaps because of that, I was in no hurry to see director Tom Hooper's The King's Speech, although I had thoroughly enjoyed his previous film The Damned United written by Peter Morgan and starring Michael Sheen as the renowned bombastic soccer manager Brian Clough. For some reason I had supposed that it would be a typically turgid period piece but after watching the Blu-ray release I was pleasantly surprised to find it terribly gripping and incredibly well written and performed by a marvellous ensemble cast.

Colin Firth is not an actor I've ever tended to warm to in the past and I've always felt he usually appears to be playing himself on screen, here however, not only is he portraying a notable historic figure, Prince Albert Duke of York, the future King George VI the present Queen's father, but also he is encumbered with a pronounced stammer which Firth captures in excruciating detail. You would think that such a severe speech impediment would handicap an actor's ability to communicate with the audience but, on the contrary, Firth is able to convey so much more through his palpable frustration and outbursts of temper as the irascible Albert than he's ever been able to display in his largely predictable romantic lead roles.

It's hard to imagine that the part of Lionel Logue could have been written for anyone other than Geoffrey Rush but again one has to remember that this isn't a fictional character; the real life Logue was indeed a Shakespeare enthusiast and amateur actor, these elements weren't simply concocted by writer David Seidler in order to play to Rush's strengths as a performer. Logue was a former elocution teacher in Australia who treated the returning soldiers from WWI whose impaired speech was a result of shell-shock. He emigrated to England with his family in 1924 and started a speech defect practice in Harley Street which was recommended to Albert's wife Elizabeth, played by Helena Bonham Carter. Despite being demoralised from the experience of many failed cures the Prince reluctantly agrees to try the treatment.

The film charts Logue's unconventional methods of healing the future King, insisting that during the consultations that they are equals and that he shall call him nothing but 'Bertie' an intimate family pet name. Initially Albert meets Logue with querulous defiance, he never expects to be crowned King as his older brother David (Guy Pearce) is the natural heir to the throne, however matters beyond his control are shaping his destiny; close advisers including Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin (Anthony Andrews) and Chancellor of the Exchequer, Winston Churchill (Timothy Spall) are speculating on Hitler's ambition to conquer Europe and believe that war is inevitable. When King George V (Michael Gambon) dies in January 1936, David ascends the throne as Edward VIII but his reign only last 10 months as his commitment to marry the American divorcee Wallace Simpson is at conflict with the constitution leaving him no choice but to abdicate.

As King George VI 'Bertie' is required to make public addresses which means persevering with Logue, the only man whose approach has achieved demonstrable improvement in his ability to speak. The strength of the film lies in the scenes between them as they develop an unlikely friendship despite being from completely different social backgrounds; one reticent and self-doubting the other outspoken and assured. After coaching the King successfully through his coronation Logue's biggest challenge is to prepare him for his first radio speech to be broadcast around the world after the declaration of war with Germany, he has to provide the nation with resolute and reassuring words at a time of conflict.

Visually the film is very well put together from the attention to detail on display in the exquisite 1930s production design to the choice of an unusual, almost 'fish-eye' lens to illustrate Bertie's feelings of isolation and constriction which are echoed in the use of fog in the few exterior shots. The image is presented in full 1080p with strong contrast and plenty of detail visible in hair and skin tones, although occasionally the colour palette seems unnecessarily muted. The DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack perfectly balances the prominent dialogue and accompanying musical score, much of which is comprised from a selection of classical works, the most effective being the use of the 2nd movement of Beethoven's 7th Symphony to support the King's climatic radio transmission.

The King's Speech is a deserved award-winning historical drama and a rare one in that it fails to be boring or sentimental, particularly evident in its depiction of the Wallace Simpson affair which is more often than not simply presented as a fairy tale romance in screen adaptations. Both Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush are outstanding in their central lead roles and they are well supported by a uniformly assured company of character actors. David Seidler's script is not only impeccably researched but solidly dramatised; he and director Tom Hooper have transformed what could have just been two men talking in a room into compelling cinematic viewing.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Such Great Acting, 25 July 2011
This review is from: The King's Speech [DVD] (DVD)
Did not know if I would like this film but the acting is so good (Firth, Rush, Bonham-Carter) that you get drawn into a very simple but effective plot; King George VI building an unlikely relationship with Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue as he overcomes the adversity of his stammer. Very Good indeed.

The Spire Chronicle
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great film but poor blu-ray transfer - beware!, 11 May 2011
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I won't comment on the film, other than to say it deserves the praise heaped on it. This review concerns the blu-ray transfer. For some reason, Momentum have presented the film at 1080i/50 (an interlaced transfer playing back at 25fps). The picture itself looks fine, but the film suffers from the old PAL speed-up problem, running about 4% too fast. There is absolutely no need for this. Blu-ray allows for films to be encoded at their native 24fps, and indeed all other blu-ray film transfers I have are encoded at 1080p/24.

Why Momentum have chosen to release the film in this way is a mystery. For the film I give 5 stars, but the shoddy transfer gets 2.
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58 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The gift of cinema does credit to the gift of speech., 25 Feb 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The King's Speech [DVD] (DVD)
The King`s Speech is directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler. It stars Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Timothy Spall, Derek Jacobi & Michael Gambon. Music is by Alexandre Desplat and photography is by Danny Cohen. The idea for the film came about after Seidler read about how King George VI (Firth) overcame his stammer after a friendship was formed with his voice coach Lionel Logue (Rush). Having himself overcome a stutter problem in his youth, Seidler set about writing his story from informed information. A bonus came before filming started when notebooks belonging to Logue were put forward for use. These enabled Seidler to incorporate works from the books into the screenplay. Plot picks up just prior to George`s brother, Edward (Pearce), abdicating the throne.Thus thrusting the stammering George on to the throne of England. With World War looming, George will be needed to make the speech of speeches to becalm his nation. But first he must work closely with the affable Logue and hope it brings an end to his vocal woes.

Writing this just a couple of days before the Academy Awards so I have no idea how The King`s Speech will (has) performed there. But up till now what we do know is that Hooper`s film has won or been nominated for awards by the bucket load already, including a triumphant show at the BAFTA`s where it won 7 of the 14 categories it was nominated for; including Best Film and Best Actor for Colin Firth. At the time of writing the film has made over $230 million in profit: a figure sure to rise considerably since the film is still playing to packed theatres in the UK.

I myself ventured to the theatre on 22nd February, that`s over 6 weeks since its release in its homeland, and as I approached the cinema I saw there was a queue! A queue? I haven`t queued to get into a film since the halcyon days of Jaws, Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind! I noticed there was many youngsters in this line, so of course they were going to see the Yogi Bear movie, or that Gnomeo & Juliet film? Surely? Not so. In to The King`s Speech they all rolled, an audience that ranged from 12 years of age to the fragile OAP day trippers. For the next two hours the only sounds I could hear were that of laughter, hushed words of praise for what was on the screen, and even sobs during some of the more tender moments within. No mobile phones, no chitter chatter about acne or the boy next door, just an across the board appreciation for expert film making.

There in is the reason why The King`s Speech is coining it in at the box office and breaking merry records as it goes. It has universal appeal, a film without tricks, just a simple involving story acted supremely by a cast of bona fide thespians. It beats a true heart, whilst doling out a visual history lesson to those so inclined to matters of the British Monarchy and the political upheaval about to surface as Adolf started his surge. Even for a film so chocked full of dialogue and basic human interaction, the pace is brisk and never sags, the quieter reflective moments only bring anticipation of the next enjoyable scene. When all is said and done, The King`s Speech has snowballed because of word of mouth, it started out as an intended independent picture, to be shown is selected theatres only, and now it`s arguably the best film of 2010/2011. Believe me, believe the hype, you owe it to yourself to see this beautiful movie. 10/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The King's Stutter, 7 Feb 2013
By 
T. T. Rogers - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The King's Speech [DVD] (DVD)
In 'The King's Speech', the Monarch is no longer an infallible figurehead with power by divine right, but in fact a mere human being. His inexplicable stutter and public nervousness have dogged him since before ascending to the throne, and it is only with the help of an Australian elocution teacher, Lionel Logue, that he is able to fill the role and finally become a confident speaker and leader of his people.

I am in two minds about this film. It is broadly accurate historically, and I found the main character's personal struggles quite affecting. On the other hand, I found the emphasis on swearing and foul language as used by Logue to improve the King's voice needlessly disrespectful, in fact totally ridiculous. I highly doubt Logue used these techniques in reality. I think at root this film is nonsense really. I am only persuaded to give it a higher rating than I otherwise would because I must admit it is well-made and well-acted.
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The King's Speech [DVD]
The King's Speech [DVD] by Tom Hooper (DVD - 2011)
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