4. The King's Speech
World War II films are often dominated by the era’s larger-than-life personalities: Hitler, Stalin, Eisenhower, Churchill. “The King’s Speech,” however, examines one of its unsung heroes, King George VI of Britain, and his quiet determination to overcome a debilitating speech impediment.
Thrust onto the throne due to his father’s death and his older brother’s subsequent immaturity, King George (played masterfully by Colin Firth) finds himself in front of a microphone that connects his voice to an entire nation, a voice marred by a lifelong stutter. Enter Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), an unconventional speech therapist tasked with helping the king overcome his handicap.
As in “True Grit,” “The King’s Speech” quickly becomes about the close relationship that two unlikely people form with each other. In the case of King George and Lionel, their friendship helped to rally a nation. Inspiring cinema doesn’t get much better than this.
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Image Courtesy The Weinstein Company