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.
10 responses to “The King’s Speech – A Bookish Movie Review”
I am also pretty impressed that the subject of a stutter would make such a compelling book/movie. But so it does. Pretty much everyone I know who’s seen this movie has loved it. I really need to read the book and see this movie (hopefully in that order!)!
I know, right? The only reason I picked it up was because everyone in my family had loved it and I was definitely glad I have it a try 🙂
You know, I’ve heard a lot of good things about this movie but never got around to seeing it. I guess I just couldn’t understand how a movie about a stutter could be that fascinating? But I’m sure I’m totally wrong. I can only imagine how horrifying it would be to have to speak publicly when dealing with something like that. I mean, even if we don’t have a stuttering problem, we can all relate on one level or another. I really should remind myself to watch this sometime!
I thought the same thing! I’d definitely recommend it though 🙂
I saw the movie first as well and loved both the book and the movie. I listened to the book and Simon Vance did an excellent job narrating it.
I didn’t know Simon Vance had narrated the audiobook version. How exciting! I love Simon Vance and am now very tempted to listen the audio version as well!
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These are on my to-watch/to-read list; it sounds like such a fascinating story and I’m really curious about it. Great review! 🙂
Alice @ Alice in Readerland
Thanks Alice! I really loved the movie and will be interested to hear what you think of it 🙂
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