I went to see this movie partially because I have a stutter. Friends of mine who had seen the movie recommended it.
It was a tremendous film. I really enjoyed it. First of all, Colin Firth, as the Duke of York and later King George VI, was amazing. His portrayal of a stutterer was perfect: the frustration, the anger, the strain. It was spot on. The physical tension was perfect. Any person who stutters will quite literally feel his pain in his opening speech at Wembley, where every third or fourth word is caught in his throat. He also did a great job showing the strain of having to lead a country with no real power, where his greatest ability should be his role as voice of the people, yet his very voice betrays him. Finally, Firth’s ability to show how it feels to not be able to express oneself, especially in tense situations was completely real-to-life. Wonderful performance.
Geoffrey Rush, who I remembered from Pirates of the Caribbean as Captain Barbossa, was perfect in the role of Lionel Logue. A speech therapist with no certification, just experience, he is a brilliant every-man counterpart to Firth’s royalty and bearing. Logue provides the film with it’s comedic moments and slowly breaks through Firth’s wall of arrogance and fear.
Helena Bonham Carter is the Duchess of York, and I didn’t even know she was in this film until she came on screen. Like usual, I immediately thought of her role as Bellatrix Lestrange, but this character is completely opposite and Carter filled her role wonderfully. Understated and wise in the manners of her husband, she excels at the periphery of scenes, supporting her husband even when he was at his lowest.
Timothy Spall had a small role as Winston Churchill, which gave me a laugh because he was of course Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter series – a bit of a switch of roles I guess you could say. The writing was very well done and the score was excellent, especially in the montage of training that the future King undergoes.
I really recommend this movie, which is led by the amazing performances by Firth, Rush and Carter. Go out and see it.
P.S. The theater I was in (Kips Bay on 32nd Street) had an issue where the film was too zoomed in, and the top and bottom of the shot was not seen. Very frustrating to see someone talking, but we were watching from the waist down.