We went to our first movie of 2011 last night, The King's Speech, one I have been waiting to see ever since I first heard about it several months ago.
The movie focuses on the story of King George VI (played wonderfully by Colin Firth) from the time before he becomes King after the abdication of his brother Edward up until the start of World War 2. King George, or Bertie as he is known affectionately by his family, has a significant stutter which greatly impacts on his ability to perform his public duties and make important speeches. The impediment is of great embarrassment to him and his family and once he begins speech therapy with the unconventional Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush) we begin to see the origins of the problem and why it is has been so difficult for him to overcome.
It sounds like such a simple premise to take up the length of a whole movie but it is done brilliantly - there is tension galore and the suspense leading up to the King's first speech after the announcement of World War 2 is immense. The real focus of the movie is on the relationships formed by the King with those around him, including his wife Elizabeth played by Helena Bonham Carter (the real start performance for me) and that of his speech therapist, Lionel.
It is a beautifully made and performed movie - highly recommended!