The Oscar nominated film, The King’s Speech (2010) is about more than the woes of a mere speech impediment. The British film has impeccable acting and encouraged me to look at who I really am, and the importance of connecting with others through communication. Sometimes people have a voice, but they do not acknowledge it. Many have the capabilities and the inner passion, but put it aside because of fear of rejection.
Americans may be unaware of the career-threatening struggle of Britain’s Prince Albert (Colin Firth) in the 1930’s who suffered from an embarrassing stammer. Albert’s personal dilemma became a national crisis after he suddenly inherited the throne, and became King George VI. (Edward, VIII, his brother, abdicated the throne in order to marry Mrs. Wallis Simpson, a commoner from the United States.) With Hitler threatening to force Britain into a Second World War, the nation needed a monarch who could rally the troops and the citizenry on radio and in public gatherings, yet the up-and -coming George VI still cringed from the depredations of a stammer he had borne since childhood.
Luckily for Albert, or "Bertie," he had a compassionate and wise wife, Elizabeth, (Helena Bonham Carter) who helped locate an Australian speech therapist with the skill and the character to cure the King. Their daughter is the current Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II.
Although George VI had been raised to look down upon commoners his whole life, his secret desire was to befriend a person he could talk to freely and openly, and this need was met in the person of Lionel Logue, (Geoffrey Rush), an unusually assertive speech therapist who turned out to be his most important friend during this demanding time in his life. After numerous therapy sessions of not wanting to look at any underlying reasons for his speech stammering, Logue helped him to overcome fears derived from what he had been told by others in his childhood, but to realize that these could be left behind and to see his worth.
I connected this film to Rev. In Jin Moon’s desire to see Second-Generation Unificationists realize their potential and not be inhibited by fear. She recently said in her Lovin’ Life Ministries sermon on February 20, 2011, that we should look at our lives as works in progress rather than get obsessed by a single failure, which is only like a snapshot in time. Life is a process, and we should not give up the hope of transformation.
Even though King George is convinced that his speech stammering would never be fixed, and therefore he was unfit to be king, after one session with Logue, this speech therapist proved to George that he could read a whole page from a book without stammering once when he is listening to music instead of judging his own voice.
Overall, The King's Speech inspired my passions to help myself and others see the things in themselves that can be pushed down from angst, and can be used in brilliant ways if they are believed in. A friend like Lionel pushed the King to go far, and in the end lead the people of England through the war.
The King’s Speech has been nominated for an Oscar in best picture, actor, and director. The award ceremony will be held on February, 27, 2011.
Contributed by Celine Tardy