Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"The King's Speech" and the Power of Perseverance

Okay, maybe the 50 or so folks at our local public library who watched "The King's Speech" tonight with my husband and me were the last people on the earth to see this Academy Award-winning film about King George VI's struggles to overcome his stammer.

But if you are among those who haven't seen this movie yet, do. Other than some foul language, spoken by the king himself as he struggles to find his voice, this movie is a great movie for families. It's an inspirational story,  a love letter to speech therapists everywhere, and its message is about how trust and perseverance can help us overcome many obstacles.

The movie is visually stunning and its music beautiful. But what moved my husband and me the most was the relationship in the film between the king and his Australian speech therapist and the relationships between the king and Queen Elizabeth, his supportive and loving wife.

As parents of a boy who struggled mightily for years to have his speech understood, we feel the film demonstrates the enormous power of trust and perseverance. One of the film's messages was that when we trust one another with our frailties, when we allow our vulnerabilities to surface, when we work hard at seemingly impossible task, we can accomplish amazing things.

Public speaking is a key part of King George VI's job description. But, as he tells his speech therapist: "If I'm King, where's my power? Can I form a government? Can I levy a tax, declare a war? No! And yet I am the seat of all authority. Why? Because the nation believes that when I speak, I speak for them. But I can't speak."

The speech to which the title refers is the live radio address King George VI had to deliver to Great Britain and its colonies on the the day Britain goes to war with Germany at the start of World War II. Movie critics have quibbled over the story's historical accuracy, in particular in the depiction of Winston Churchill's position in the abdication crisis. George became king only after his brother, King Edward VIII abdicated the throne so he could marry a divorced American.

Watching the movie brought my husband and me back to a time and place when our own son struggled so hard to have his voice be understood. We are so thankful to all the kind souls - speech therapists and teachers - who have helped him find his voice.


  1. My husband saw it couple times at my parent's house and loved it, but I was always doing something else at the time and couldn't see it. I'll have to get it from Red Box soon.

    Great Review! I always love a movie review. Now you must see Mao's Last Dance. SOO good and it's only rated PG! When is a good movie ever rated PG?? never. I think I like it more because they didn't have to stoop low to get people's attention to see this movie.

  2. Trust and perseverance can help us overcome many obstacles. So true. We rented this the other week and enjoyed it.

  3. Tremendous film! I love the way that the actors disappeared into their roles, especially Helena Bonham Carter, who is usually so quirky. She did an excellent job!

  4. Sarah: How ironic; the film series at our public library has Mao's Last Dance on its lineup. Definitely will make sure I see that.

    I am glad you all find value in these reviews. Most of us can't get to the movies very often, with budget constraints, family obligations etc. So glad for NetFlix.

  5. I agree completely. We thoroughly enjoyed this movie and I thoroughly enjoyed your review. We don't see very many movies when they are first released. We wait until they show up on our satellite pay per view (rarely), Redbox, or Netflix.