This was one of the rare instances where I saw the movie before I read the book and almost as rarely, it was movie I liked enough to watch twice! It amazes me that a movie about King George VI’s stutter could be so moving and so fascinating. I think two things were done very well that made you feel so invested in the characters lives. First, the actors were very good. Equally importantly, there were some scenes where the king-to-be struggles to give a speech that are simply impossible to watch without empathizing with his embarrassment. Actually, a third thing that helped was his wife’s concern for his feelings – again something that it’s hard not to empathize with.
Now, this opinion could be biased by the fact that I saw the movie first, but I also was very happy with what they chose to show in the movie. They do compress the time period over which events take place, but it is still clear that the king’s improvement takes a lot of time and hard work. The best, most moving lines from the book were almost all faithfully reproduced in the movie. My only small complaint is that I think the movie overdramatized the bad points of the king’s relationship with his father and brother. From the sounds of the book, these relationships were pretty good by the time period in which the events of the movie take place. That said, a little drama never hurt a movie and I was quite impressed by how exciting the movie was given the low-key nature of the events portrayed. I would definitely recommend seeing this very well done movie and might even recommend seeing it before the book or listening to the audiobook so that you get to hear the king speak.