The King’s Speech
While this excellent film – and Oscar’s Best Picture Winner for 2011– isn’t chock full of female characters, it is a must-see for Momz in the Mix everywhere because it’s a story about finding and exercising one’s voice.
Colin Firth stars as the Duke of York, Bertie — the salt of the earth son of King George the 5th. Bertie’s role as second son, as well as his crippling stammer, make succeeding his father as ruler of the United Kingdom seem quite impossible. But the perfect storm of the King’s failing health; Bertie’s older brother’s troublesome affairs with married American women; and conflict brewing in Hitler’s Germany render his stutter the only true impediment to this strong but silent man’s ascent to greatness.
Colin Firth performs an amazing feat in allowing us so deep into his character’s soul that we begin to view this rich and privileged man as a broken child we want to see healed. Helena Bonham Carter (very possibly the Best Supporting Actress of 2011) plays Bertie’s wife, Elizabeth, who ventures outside the confines of the royal circle in search of help for her husband when conventional medicine fails them. Geoffrey Rush (just when you thought he couldn’t possibly blow your mind again) inspires as controversial speech therapist Lionel Logue – a common man with an uncommon dignity that commands respect from his social superiors.
While Bertie’s journey in overcoming his agonizing disability takes center stage in the film, it’s Elizabeth’s courageous support of her husband that sets the story into motion and ultimately results in Bertie’s transformation from tongue-tied aristocrat to royal ruler. Confronted with her husband’s growing sense of impotence, Elizabeth trusts her instinct that a cure exists somewhere out there and she sets out to find it.
A Mom in the Mix before her time, Elizabeth may well have changed the course of history by aggressively seeking out the care her husband needed to develop a voice that proved critical in silencing the growing roar of fascism.
The King’s Speech is a MITM Must See! Once it’s out on DVD, pop some corn, sit back and get ready to be inspired!