The King’s Speech

January 14, 2011

In this film, George VI is my favorite kind of hero, the Robin McKinley kind of hero, where he struggles and quests and succeeds not because it’s his dream to, or because he wants to be a hero, or has any ambition whatsoever.  He’s going to slog through it because no one else will, because so many people are depending on him and he’s the person standing in that spot they’re looking to, and because he’s a good person he simply can’t let them down.

Someday I’m going to learn not to rush home and look up the Wikipedia bios of people I’ve just seen really good movies on.  If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have learned that most of the boys in Finding Neverland died tragically, fighting in World War I or drowning or killing themselves.  And I wouldn’t have learned that George VI was only 56 when he died.  (I knew he died in 1952, when Queen Elizabeth succeeded him.  I hadn’t realized he was so young, and so ill.)


10 Responses to “The King’s Speech”

  1. I’ve heard really good things about this movie. It stars Colin Firth, right? Wonder if I can talk my husband into seeing it.

  2. carriev Says:

    I had also heard it was really good. I had high expectations going into it.

    It exceeded my expectations.

  3. G Says:

    My mother has seen thing and heartily recommends it and as soon as it is released in Berlin we have a group lined up to see it.

  4. wygit Says:

    I do the same thing, but I went on to look up his father, his brother, and his daughter Elizabeth, who was a fascinating woman. I was impressed by her most of all.

    We went to the theater Christmas day to see this, and it was the first movie in quite a while where I saw the audience applaud.

  5. Nicholas Jackson Says:

    I went to see it a few days ago, and thought it was absolutely excellent. Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, in particular, were (as usual) brilliant.

    Some historians have remarked (and I’m inclined to agree with them) that George VI did a lot to restore public opinion of the monarchy after the crisis of Edward VIII’s abdication: he did his absolute best at a job he never wanted, setting aside his personal feelings to do what he saw as his duty – even though the stress contributed to his early death.

    According to a documentary I saw a few years ago, Churchill was originally unconvinced by the abdication, and thought that Edward should remain king if at all possible – whereas his wife believed that George was a better bet. At George VI’s coronation, though, he whispered to his wife “You’re quite right, my dear – the other one would never have done”.

  6. carriev Says:

    I’ve actually been doing quite a bit of reading on the previous generation of the family — George V and his parents and siblings. I’m developing a wacky crazy alternate history starring George V’s youngest sister Maud (who became Queen of Norway of all things)… more on that later…

    George V was also a second son and not meant to become king, until his older brother died of flu.

    I’m starting to wonder if oldest sons in the British royal family naturally have an astonishingly bad time of things…

  7. Jamie Says:

    Wanted to just post and say: I enjoyed DISCORD’S APPLE. The Kitty books are great but it’s neat to see you branching out.

    STEEL looks especially cool. I fenced in college.

  8. carriev Says:

    Thanks! Glad you liked it!

  9. Beccy H Says:

    Hmmn you may have something there about the oldest sons in that line even the ones that got / will get the throne, George V’s father Edward VII didn’t get the throne until he was sixty and Charles is already sixty-two.

  10. Joe Says:

    chain smoker

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