Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 190 – Because I Have a Voice

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A Million Things I'd Like to Say

The movie ‘The King’s Speech’ is based on the book written by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi, The King’s Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy. Mark Logue is the grandson of Lionel Logue, the titular man who saved that monarchy. Special K argues that in fact it was the Queen Mother, Elizabeth, wife of King George VI, known to his family and intimates as Bertie, who really saved the monarchy.  Lionel Logue was the speech therapist known for enabling King George VI, a lifelong stutterer, to speak confidently, sincerely and as a leader during a time in history when the British Empire needed that leadership most: the dawn and period of World War II. Lionel Logue, in wikipedia, is described as being distinctive in his therapeutic method that emphasized humour, patience and superhuman sympathy.

And this is in great part what makes this movie enduring art in its depth and emotional complexity. Geoffry Rush’s performance completely embodies these three qualities. There is no other way, the movie, convinces us, that he could have helped the king otherwise. A normally mild-mannered man, the film portrays King George VI, played exquisitely and poignantly by Colin Firth, as someone who could erupt in frustrated rage when provoked to face the disability that could make or break royal credibility.  For all the remoteness royality seems to the otherwise common man, this film attempts to show the humanity in all of us through Bertie and the heartwarming affection between him, his wife, the Queen Mother, his daughters Elizabeth and Margaret and his lifelong bond with his speech therapist.

Links:  Lionel Logue George VI Stuttering is Cool The King’s Speech

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5 thoughts on “Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters 190 – Because I Have a Voice

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed your review. As a stutterer, I am so happy to see awareness FINALLY being raised and not being the butt of jokes.

    I take it Special K is an expert in history and the British monarchy? And now that you have mentioned it, yes, the Queen Mother has indeed played a very large role in saving the monarchy.

    I also recommend the book for those like me who can’t stop gushing about the movie and won’t shut up until it’s finally released on DVD (then I’ll be in trouble!). It gives a very interesting account of both of the mens’ lives starting before they met.

    Would you mind if I shamelessly plugged my podcast, 🙂

  2. I enjoyed your commentary and am glad you addressed the Nazi issue in some depth. I read an article by Christopher Hitchens the other day that said he thought the movie was great but the history that informed it was not.

    Although I love watching entertainment about the royal family, I’m uncomfortable with the timing of this movie. Seems like a bad time to be cultivating sympathy with the extremely well-to-do. Perhaps that’s why I’ve resisted seeing it.

    • Thanks Teresa. I see why you might resist the movie. My view of the royal family is far from them being well to do. What good is wealth when you live in a prison of duty? What good is wealth when you have a disadvantage that leaves you with a terror of speaking? The historical inaccuracies were indeed annoying. It was the humanity of the story I enjoyed.

  3. I’m sure I will see the movie in time. I would not want to be a royal myself–a life of extreme privilege, yes, but one that is highly circumscribed, as you suggest. I get tired just reading about the Queen’s schedule.

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