My mum and I went to see The King’s Speech today and it’s just a marvelous, lovely movie. If it’s playing in your area, try and go see it.
The story is one which a lot of people might not have known until now, but in a nutshell, George VI has to come to the throne after the abdication of his brother, and in an era of live radio. He has a bad stammer. Finds an unconventional speech therapist to help and makes the speech of his life.
When the movie was under consideration, the Royal Family was asked for its approval, which it was given. But the condition from the Queen Mother was not until after her death, as it was still too painful for her to remember how her beloved husband struggled to speak.
Of course, I was riveted by the movie, and the period in which it took place – the England when my father was an early teenager – but also by some of the sets. A lot of the action took place in the Harley Street quarters of the therapist, almost a garret-type place with lots of leaded glass windows, plaster walls with years of paint and other period pieces. It looks like years and years of paper and paint have been on these walls and now they’re gone. There’s a fabulous sofa in a lot of the scenes, sort of French, with needlepoint details. There are also some scenes, ostensibly at Buckingham Palace, but in reality in a country house in Yorkshire. Colin Firth, as the King, and Helena Bonham-Carter as his Queen are both quite good. The costumes, like the one below on HB-C, are such fun to see and make you wish people bothered to dress a little better. My grandmother had a dove-gray cashmere coat with a collar like the one she wears in several scenes.
This movie is going to be up for loads of awards, and it’s already starting to win some! So go see it!