I had the pleasure of attending the screening of "The King's Speech" last night at the Toronto Film Festival and enjoyed every minute of it.
The movie is about the unlikely friendship that forms between shy, stuttering King George VI (played by Colin Firth) and Lionel Logue (played by Geoffry Rush), his speech therapist. The latter helping the former find his voice. Even King George VI shared our familiar self-doubt: "How can I be king and lead my people with a stammer?"
The movie portrays every single aspect of the stuttering experience PERFECTLY. The frustrations, the social punishment, the silly suggestions we've all heard before – breathing, marbles in our mouths, etc. – including how avoidance and word switching can cause us to unintentionally tell a confusing stories.
The King's Speech is a very human story told through both dramatic and funny moments. The actors do a fantastic job and gain spontaneous applause following a scene of one of the king's key speeches. Firth is excellent at portraying our struggles with getting our words out. King George VI is one of us!
It's no wonder that this screenplay was written so realistically. Before the screening, director Tom Hooper, told us a story about a boy with a stutter in 1940s UK. That boy was listening to King George VI speaking on the radio one day and thought to himself that if the king could do it, so can he. That boy, David Seidler, grew up and became the screenwriter of the movie.
My review isn't doing to the movie justice. I highly recommend seeing it when it comes out in theatres (at the end of November).
Some links to articles about the movie:
New York Times, Speaking with Colin Firth
The Globe and Mail, King's Speech Persuades TIFF Audience
CBC News, The King's Speech Crowned at TIFF