Ironically leaves you speechless

Ironically leaves you speechless

Colin Firth may owe his success to Andrew Davies, the man who penned the BBC's 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice. The mini-series propelled Firth into the public consciousness as a heartthrob (he was immortalised in the novel Bridget Jones' Diary) and his talent is now officially recognised following his Best Actor Oscar.

The King's Speech is the tale of "Bertie", the current British monarch's father, King George VI (Firth), and his speech impediment. If this sounds to you like something only elderly British speech therapists will enjoy, you'll miss out on one of the best films of the year.

Firth's portrayal of the reluctant king's frustration with his condition, by turns tear-jerking and humorous, is one of a slew of reasons to watch. His supporting actors are incredible: Geoffrey Rush plays Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue, an unconventional practitioner who refuses to bow down before his illustrious patient. Helena Bonham Carter is Bertie's loving wife and greatest supporter, her no-nonsense approach to problem-solving creating some of the film's funniest and most touching moments.

This story could have been told in a dry, documentary-like, and ultimately pointless way. But director Tom Hooper's tender approach has resulted in a beautifully human film with universal appeal. Don't miss it.

Contains strong language in a speech therapy context.

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