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"THE KING'S SPEECH"
(2010) (Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush) (PG-13/R)


Alcohol/Drugs Moderate
Blood/Gross Stuff Minor
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Heavy
Frightening/Tense Scenes Minor
Gun/Weapons  Minor
Imitative Behavior Mild
Jump Scenes None
Music (Scary/Tense)  None
Music (Inappropriate)  None
Profanity Extreme
Sex/Nudity Moderate
Smoking Extreme
Tense Family Scenes Heavy
Topics to Talk About  Heavy
Violence None


REVIEW NOTE:
The following is the review for the original R-rated version of this film released in 2010. In April 2011, a PG-13 version was released but not made available for review. Unconfirmed reports state the footage is exactly the same with the exception being that the "F" words present in the original have been either muted or changed to "S" words. It's our general policy that we don't re-review films that have been rereleased as unedited versions, director's cuts, special editions, or, in this case, re-rated versions of the original. The reported changes to such content are indicated in the appropriate sections below.
QUICK TAKE:
Drama: An unorthodox speech therapist forges an unusual alliance with the King of England as he tries to help him overcome a stammer that's severely impacted his appearances in public or over the radio.
PLOT:
Years after botching a public address and live radio broadcast in 1925, Prince Albert (COLIN FIRTH) still suffers from a bad stammer that leaves him quite uncomfortable making public appearances. His father, King George V (MICHAEL GAMBON), has no such problems, but laments that the relatively new broadcast medium means he and other such figures must now become actors. But at least he doesn't have to worry about Albert succeeding him since he has an older son, Edward (GUY PEARCE), who's well-groomed for the role, even if he wants nothing to do with that.

Albert's wife, Elizabeth (HELENA BONHAM CARTER), however, hasn't given up on him and thus continuously tries to find someone who can help. She thinks she might have found that person in Lionel Logue (GEOFFREY RUSH), an Australian speech therapist known for his unorthodox treatment procedures. Working from his home office where he lives with his wife, Myrtle (JENNIFER EHLE), and their kids, Lionel eventually convinces Albert to do as he says, and that helps alleviate some of the problem.

Yet, there are other issues Albert must contend with, including the death of his father and then Edward abdicating the throne in order to be with the love of his life, married American commoner Wallis Simpson (EVE BEST). Having succeeded his brother and now known as King George VI, the monarch must also contend with the rumblings of war and his dealing with Winston Churchill (TIMOTHY SPALL) in such matters. With war with Germany imminent, the King must prepare the biggest speech of his lifetime, something with which only Lionel can assist him.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're interested in British royal history, are fans of someone in the cast, or are interested in seeing a critically acclaimed film, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13/R
For language (PG-13) and For some language (R).
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • COLIN FIRTH plays the Duke of York and then King George VI after his brother abdicates the throne. He's a good husband, father and ruler, but lets his stammer irritate and frustrate him to the point of occasional angry outbursts. He doesn't have much faith in Lionel being able to cure him, but goes along with his recommendations and treatment. He uses strong profanity in two outbursts of letting go of frustration, smokes, and drinks some.
  • GEOFFREY RUSH plays an unorthodox speech therapist and aspiring but not very good Shakespearean actor who takes on Albert's case and does what he can to help him. He forms an unusual friendship and bond with the ruler and drinks a little.
  • HELENA BONHAM CARTER plays Albert's wife, the future and then current Queen who's concerned about her husband's speech impediment and how that affects him. Accordingly, she does what she can to get him help, and that includes bringing him to Lionel.
  • GUY PEARCE plays Albert's older playboy brother who wants nothing to do with the throne but is forced to take it upon the death of their father. Even so, he continues to see a married woman who's getting divorced and eventually abdicates his position. He drinks and smokes.
  • MICHAEL GAMBON plays their father, the King, who isn't happy with Edward for his ways or for Albert allowing his speech impediment to affect his public appearances.
  • TIMOTHY SPALL plays Winston Churchill, the future Prime Minister who tries to give Albert advice about how to deal with that impediment and the imminent war with Germany. He smokes some.
  • JENNIFER EHLE plays Lionel's wife and mother to his children who puts up with his eccentricities and is shocked, in one scene, to find the King and Queen in their flat.
  • EVE BEST plays the married, American commoner who Edward falls and eventually abdicates the throne for. She drinks, and smokes once.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this drama that's rated R. Profanity consists of at least 17 "f" words (in the original R-rated version -- we do not have a count for the PG-13 version), while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some non-explicit, but sexually related dialogue is present, and a classic style statue shows bare breasts.

    No violence occurs, although there's an air raid siren (and people resultantly scurrying about) from WWII related material. Bad attitudes are present as is some potentially imitative behavior. Tense family material occurs while various thematic elements are present.

    A great deal of smoking is present, while drinking occurs in several scenes. A tiny bit of crude humor is present.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's brief camera movement from time to time in the film, such as some bouncy footage inside a car.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A specialist sterilizes marbles in what's presumably liquor of some sort and then has Albert place all of them in his mouth and try speaking that way (as therapy, but it doesn't work).
  • Edward has a drink.
  • Lionel asks Albert if he'd like some milk, but Albert says he'd kill for something stronger. The two then have drinks, with Lionel saying his father was a brewer, and that there was always free beer. The two then have more alcohol.
  • Lionel pours more alcohol for himself and Albert.
  • People have drinks at a castle party and Edward goes off to find and then returns with and opens a bottle of champagne.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a pub.
  • Edward holds a drink.
  • BLOOD/GROSS STUFF
  • A radio announcer gargles and then spits that out before beginning his announcement.
  • When Elizabeth goes to visit Lionel for the first time, he yells out that he's in the loo and we then hear the toilet flush.
  • Lionel wants Albert to use profanity as a means of breaking his stammer. When Albert starts using the "s" word, Lionel jokes, "Defecation flows trippingly from the tongue."
  • About the coronation chair in Westminster Abby, Lionel states he doesn't care how many royal "assholes" have been on it.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • King George V mentions that Edward is only interested in other men's wives. He then mentions Wallis being happy because she was sleeping with him (Edward), but adds that Edward stated he wasn't involved in any immoral relations.
  • Albert has a temper and often yells out of frustration (particularly regarding his speech condition).
  • Edward cries, not over his father's death, but from now being the new king and his life as he knew it is now over, saying he's trapped.
  • Albert says that his brother teased him in the past about his stammer, adding that was due to their father.
  • We hear that Wallis is a married woman (who's having an affair with Edward) but that she plans on getting divorced.
  • Edward mocks Albert by stammering like him (to his face).
  • We see footage of Hitler making a speech and Nazi troops marching in unison.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • There's an air raid siren going off in London and panicked people are running about.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Albert and another man wear ceremonial swords.
  • Some soldiers hold rifles.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases (in the original R-rated version): "F*ckin' f*ck," "Bloody bugger to you, you beastly bastard," "Defecation flows trippingly from the tongue," "Bloody" (used many times as an adjective), "No one would give a damn," "They're idiots," "My castle, my rules," "I bloody well stammer," "The proletarian abyss," "Oh for Heaven's sake," "Don't listen to the egg-head," "I was mucking around with my kids," "You're peculiar" (followed by "I take that as a compliment"), "Damn well," "Shut up," "All hell's broken loose," "Bloody mess," "You're damn right," "Poor buggers" and "Royal assholes."
  • A specialist sterilizes marbles in what's presumably liquor of some sort and then has Albert place all of them in his mouth and try speaking that way (as therapy, but it doesn't work).
  • Lionel has Albert read while listening to music so he can't hear his own voice.
  • Edward mocks Albert by stammering like him (to his face).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • Note: The following count is for the original, R-rated version. Unconfirmed reports for the PG-13 version are that the former "F" words have been muted or changed into "S" words.
  • The following should be considered a minimum as a flurry of profanity erupts in one scene, making accurately counting those words a bit difficult: At least 17 "f" words (in the original R-rated version -- we do not have a count for the PG-13 version), 20 "s" words, 2 slang terms using male genitals ("willie"), 1 slang term for breasts ("t*ts"), 10 buggers, 3 damns, 2 asses (1 used with "hole"), 1 hell and 1 use each of "For Heaven's sake," "Good God" and "Jesus."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Albert and Elizabeth briefly kiss.
  • King George V mentions that Edward is only interested in other men's wives. He then mentions Wallis being happy because she was sleeping with him (Edward), but adds that Edward stated he wasn't involved in any immoral relations.
  • Edward talks to Wallis on the phone, agreeing that it's no substitute for holding tight and "making drowsy" and that they've been having to make their own drowsy.
  • After Lionel asks Albert about his brother helping him with women, Albert says they shared what sounded like the "administration" of Paulette, but then amends that to not at the same time.
  • When it's asked what hold Wallis has over Edward, it's answered that she acquired her "skills" (presumably meaning sexual) in a certain establishment in Shanghai.
  • When Lionel asks Albert if he knows the "f" word (trying to get him to cuss to break his stammer), Albert replies, "Fornication?" Among the words Albert then speaks in a flurry is "willie," "t*ts" and "balls."
  • The Prime Minister informs Albert that his brother doesn't have exclusive right to the "favors" of Wallis, saying she's with other men.
  • A classic style statue shows bare breasts.
  • SMOKING
  • Albert smokes at least 10 times (and nearly more, see below), Edward smokes at least 5 times, Churchill is seen several times with a cigar, Wallis smokes once, the Prime Minister has a pipe, and miscellaneous people smoke in many different scenes.
  • A doctor tells Albert to smoke, stating it calms the nerves and gives one confidence.
  • Albert nearly smokes, but Lionel stops him.
  • Albert nearly smokes in another scene, but Lionel removes the cigarette from his mouth.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Albert even has a hard time telling his young daughters a story (due to his speech condition).
  • Albert and Edward must contend with their father being senile toward the end of his life. Later, their mother isn't happy with how Edward acts, and all of them must then contend with King George V's death.
  • About Albert recently losing his father, Lionel states he wasn't there for his own father's death.
  • Albert says that his brother teased him in the past about his stammer, adding that was due to their father.
  • Albert stating he was closer to the nanny as a child than anyone else in the family.
  • Albert talks of his brother who was epileptic and died at the age of 13.
  • Edward mocks Albert by stammering like him (to his face).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The historical accuracy and/or any artistic license taken with the real story.
  • Stammering and other speech impediments.
  • A doctor tells Albert to smoke, stating it calms the nerves and gives one confidence.
  • King George V's comment that with the advent of radio, figures such as him have become actors.
  • Edward cries, not over his father's death, but from now being the new king and his life as he knew it is now over, saying he's trapped.
  • Albert stating he was forced to change, as a child, the hand with which he wrote.
  • Albert stating he wore metal leg splints as a child.
  • Albert stating he was closer to the nanny as a child than anyone else in the family.
  • WWII as the backdrop for the story, with talk of Hitler, and England eventually declaring war on Germany.
  • Edward abdicating the throne so that he can be with Wallis.
  • Albert cries over believing he's not king material.
  • Lionel stating he helped WWI vets who had speech issues after coming back from the war.
  • We see footage of Hitler making a speech and Nazi troops marching in unison.
  • VIOLENCE
  • None.



  • Reviewed November 3, 2010 / Posted December 17, 2010

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