The King’s Speech

Rated 4.0

The King’s Speech is a lavishly furnished playground for Brit actors, with Colin Firth’s prize-winning performance being the most conspicuous instance, but far from the only one. And the actors’ savory theatrics combine with the historical backdrop—the royal family in the decade before World War II—to make the film a field day for Anglophile culture buffs as well. While Firth is very good indeed, the film is at its most electric in that esteemed actor’s scenes with the estimable Geoffrey Rush, who plays the émigré Australian Lionel Logue who became the elocution coach to a future king of England, the stammering duke of York (Firth). The royal heir’s battle with his speech impediment in historically fraught circumstances is deftly played to genuinely touching emotional effect, but the odd-couple friendship that develops between these two men takes final precedence over the social and historical dynamics on which it also trades. Cinemark 14 and Paradise Cinema 7. Rated R