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.
Perhaps 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.