King George Vi Essay

2077 words - 9 pages

As the entertainment industry evolves and adapts to the 21st century, it still finds subtle ways to remind people of historical events and their importance. An example of this is movies made about events that have happened or ones that follow the life of importance societal figures. A “period piece” is a work of art set in an earlier time period, and they can be in many forms, including motion picture films. The King’s Speech, notably, portrayed the life of King George VI of England (formerly known as Albert, the Duke of York*). Films of this nature sometimes receive criticism that they did not accurately illustrate certain characters or events. The King’s Speech, however, is a mainly* an ...view middle of the document...

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This movie became notorious for the abundance of awards it received. In total, it has received 94 awards and been nominated for 107 others. Among its awards are Oscars for “Best Motion Picture of the Year” and “Best Writing, Original Screenplay,” Nominations for Golden Globes for “Best Motion Picture,” a BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) award for Best British Film, and British Independent Film Awards for “Best Screenplay” and “Best British Independent Film.”2 With this many awards and it being considered a “period film” based on the true story of King George VI, the film implies a certain amount of historical accuracy.
As expected, the film had many similarities to the actual* events that transpired in the 20th century. Historian Andrew Roberts, who wrote The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War, points out that Colin Firth accurately portrayed George VI’s initial timidness and insecurity about his stammer but the bravery he exhibited when faced with tough situations during his reign. Furthermore, there is a scene in the film in which George V (George VI’s father) makes his 1934 Christmas address to the nation and afterwards explains to Albert the importance of broadcasting and declares that Albert’s older brother, David, Prince of Wales, will ruin the family and the monarchy if he ascends the throne. He then demands that Albert practice making speeches and thus, train himself to fill in as king. While it might not seem believable that a father would lack faith in one of his sons, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography confirms that George V, had, indeed, been training Albert to take the throne.3
Another accurate aspect of the film is the depiction of Lionel Logue and the relationship he had with George VI. In the film, Logue tells Albert during their very first meeting that he will call him “Bertie”- the affectionate nickname given to him by his parents during his childhood - during all of their sessions. While this part of their relationship may be factually inaccurate, as Logue’s grandson, Robert Logue, told BBC, Logue and George VI did become close friends during the course of George VI’s treatment (as shown in the film). Although the friendship was not necessarily supported by the rest of the royal family, such as the Queen Mother (Elizabeth I)**, Logue and George VI had a very personal relationship throughout their lives, according to Robert Logue.4
Along with* the portrayal of the men’s friendship is the depiction of Lionel Logue and his professional reputation. In the film, there is some tension between Logue and George VI after the Archbishop of Canterbury questions Logue’s qualifications to be treating George VI for his speech impediment. Logue then explains to George VI that, in fact, he is not and had never claimed to be a doctor with any medical training. By trade, he is actually an actor who only began informally practicing speech therapy to help soldiers who were shell-shocked from the...

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