Flunking Sainthood

Flunking Sainthood

Religion vs. the Individual in “The King’s Speech”

11154473_det.jpgI’ve started to write about pop culture a couple of times a month at Gathering Voices, a new blog from The Thoughtful Christian. I’m in great company with fellow bloggers like Greg Garrett, Adam Copeland, Lynn Baab and Don McKim. Most of my posts will focus on movies and television, though I may venture out occasionally with posts on popular fiction, music, and other aspects of culture.


My first post explores the movie The King’s Speech to determine what role, if any, religion might play in King George VI’s self-discovery. The film’s take is that religion is merely a prop of class and nation, something to be discarded on the quest for the authentic self.

I loved the movie. (Apparently I’m in good company: it has an unheard-of 96% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes.) Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush were phenomenal; the script was crisp; the story was inspiring. But its view of religion is far more suggestive of our own era and experiences than it is of the British monarchy in the 1930s.

  • kenneth

    I don’t think that scene was really about rebellion against religion as such, but against the stodginess of tradition and the hidebound rituals that grew up around monarchy. I think the scene would have worked equally well if he and his therapist had disrupted the routine of palace life or any other ceremonial state function to do the same thing.

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