Feature

The King’s Speech

Tom Hooper's drama of King George VI's efforts to overcome a crippling stammer with the help of a speech therapist shows Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush at their best.

Directed by Tom Hooper(R)

***

This handsomely crafted and “enjoyably amusing” drama seems poised to pick up Oscar nominations in bunches, said J. Hoberman in The Village Voice. Set in pre–World War II Britain, The King’s Speech stars Colin Firth as a real-life prince with a “crippling stammer” who turns for help to an “adorably déclassé” speech therapist played by Geoffrey Rush. As the commoner and the future King George VI bond over vocal exercises and engage in amateur psychotherapy, the film “finds its voice” in their engaging repartee. The pair’s unlikely friendship emerges as the movie’s “beating heart,” even though it supplies a completely unsurprising dramatic arc, said Christy Lemire in the Associated Press. But you forgive Tom Hooper’s formulaic direction because the movie is so “impeccably acted.” Firth and Rush are a “prizewinning combination,” said David Edelstein in New York. Firth evokes, “in midstammer, existential dread,” while Rush relishes in unseating royalty from its pedestal. Following David Seidler’s witty, poignant script, the actors turn the story into a “prickly comedy of manners.”

Recommended

Jamal Khashoggi's Saudi killers got paramilitary training in U.S.
Jamal Khashoggi
Jamal Khashoggi Murder

Jamal Khashoggi's Saudi killers got paramilitary training in U.S.

10 things you need to know today: June 22, 2021
Ebrahim Raisi
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 22, 2021

Philippines' Duterte warns he'll jail people who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on a visit to China.
that's one idea

Philippines' Duterte warns he'll jail people who refuse the COVID-19 vaccine

Iran's president-elect says he won't meet with Biden
Ebrahim Raisi.
all eyes on iran

Iran's president-elect says he won't meet with Biden

Most Popular

Cook called Pelosi with 'warning' about antitrust bills
Tim Cook
mr. cook calls washington

Cook called Pelosi with 'warning' about antitrust bills

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem
Political Cartoon.
Feature

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem

Senate Republicans block debate on voting rights legislation
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
'partisan blockade'

Senate Republicans block debate on voting rights legislation