22 November, 2010

The Duchess Enjoyed Immensely . . .

"The King's Speech"

The Duchess was privileged to have attended "The King's Speech" Tribute Gala during AFI Fest 2010 at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on November 5.  Mr. Colin Firth, Mr. Geoffrey Rush, and director Tom Hooper ceremoniously provided a discussion of the film before its showing, moderated by renowned film critic Leonard Maltin.  The film itself premiered to tremendous excitement among the audience, none of which was misplaced or left unsatisfied.

Mr. Firth and Mr. Rush at AFI Fest

"The King's Speech" was an incredible movie.  Mr. Firth stars as King George VI (Albert, former Duke of York), the second son of King George V, who ascends to the throne after his elder brother, Edward (a captivating Guy Pearce), abdicates the throne in order to marry his mistress, the twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson. 

Aided by his devoted wife, Elizabeth (the late Queen Mum, portrayed by a likeable Helena Bonham Carter)), Albert secures the tutoring of Lionel Logue, a speech therapist (played with explosive derring-do by Mr. Rush), to assist him with the transition to the throne -- and a role involving considerable public speaking, both in person and on the broadcast radio -- by ameliorating his stammer.  The friendship that develops between Albert and Lionel is one of the most charming alliances seen on screen in quite some time.

The film was met with a standing ovation at the Toronto International Film Festival.  Rightly so.  It's fantastic and merits much more praise than that. 

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