I finally saw this movie yesterday. A+mazing.
Why hadn’t I seen this sooner? I’m afraid I can’t quite do it justice–it was good beyond words–but I will give you my two cents.
Stellar cast, great plot (based on a true story), and incredible characters. Bertie (short for Albert) is an unlikely hero whose stammer keeps him on the verge of fear and failure both politically and personally. The cause and genesis of his stutter is discovered through a series of unorthodox practices implemented by an eccentric speech pathologist Lionel Loague; the process is as humorous as it is revealing. As you witness Bertie’s successes and minor set backs you find him to be, in fact, quite brave. It is this very visible internal struggle–the fear and the courage–that endears him to you.
I must say that the other elements that provide the backdrop and setting for the storyline are unexpectedly poignant: England on the brink of war, the commoners and the royalty, and perhaps most significant, the passing of duty and expectation from father, to son, and finally to brother.
But what kept me fighting back tears most were the actual words themselves in his speech at the end. Uttered so long ago, they still hold the weight that resonates when a leader with integrity, overcoming adversity, speaks on the issues of honesty, loyalty, impending chaos, and the faithfulness of God. As the screen shifts back and forth between the man who had conquered so much of the war inside himself and the people–the soldiers, the mill workers, the newsies on the streets–it is impossible to deny the perplexing and integral courage that both the man and the country are forced to exude in the face of possible defeat and failure. As history shows, both prevail in the end, but the journey is long and the cost is great.
This brilliant story is made all the more rich by a cast who portray the characters with a humble humanness and promising poise. I have rarely been this inspired to be better. I already want to see it again. Two thumbs up!