The King's Speech is based on real events in the life of King George VI of England, the man who became king after his brother, King Edward VIII abdicated because of his relationship with a divorced American woman. I remember learning some about King Edward VIII, but I honestly don't remember learning much about King George VI. I honestly don't remember knowing that he had a stammer before seeing this movie. I don't know how accurate the movie is about certain details. Dates are shown before some events. From what I have read, the timing of a few things is different from what is shown in the movie.
In 1925, Prince Albert, the second son of King George V, makes a speech at Wembley Stadium for the closing of the Empire Exhibition. Albert's stammer makes the audience very uncomfortable. Albert sees different speech therapists with his wife Elizabeth by his side. She finally finds Lionel Logue, a speech therapist from Australia. By this time, Albert feels like no one can help him. Despite using some unconventional methods, Lionel is able to help Albert. The men continue to work together as Albert faces the possibility of becoming king while his brother continues his relationship with a divorced woman after becoming King Edward VIII.
The King's Speech begins with Prince Albert making the speech at Wembley. It is quickly clear how nervous he is about speaking in public and how his stutter makes everyone uncomfortable. One of his sessions with a speech therapist is shown, and I think it is understandable why he was reluctant to try again with Lionel. Several sessions with Lionel are shown, including some that just have the two men talking. Lionel has some odd methods, but they work and Prince Albert is able to control his stutter when he has to make public appearances. Some of the therapy is humorous, like when Lionel encourages Prince Albert to swear because he doesn't stutter when swearing. The language really isn't excessive or graphic and I really don't think it would offend anyone.
Time is taken in The King's Speech to show Prince Albert with his wife and children as well as with his father, King George V, and older brother. I don't know how accurate those things are, but the movie shows Prince Albert being ridiculed by his father and older brother for his stammer. His wife Elizabeth is shown to be very loving and supportive of her husband. I think showing some of their private lives with their daughters helps to make them more relatable. Lionel is also shown with his wife and children. That really highlights the differences between him and the prince.
While The King's Speech is focused on Prince Albert learning to deal with his stutter, some world events are mentioned every so often as well. Much of what happens takes places when Hitler is gaining power, and he is mentioned a few times. The death of King George V is covered, along with the short reign of King Edward VIII. All I knew about King Edward VIII before seeing the movie was that he gave up the throne for the woman he loved. The movie touches on the fact that Edward's family isn't happy about the relationship even before he becomes king. He does come across as a jerk only concerned with his own pleasure and happiness. Those situations do add more drama to what is going on.
Most of what happens in The King's Speech is focused on Price Albert/King George VI and how he worked to deal with his stutter. He would prefer to live his life out of the public eye, but that is impossible given who he is. He is a very interesting man and I think Colin Firth did an amazing job with the part. The stutter sounds very believable. He definitely deserves all the award nominations that he is receiving for this role.
Elizabeth is Albert's supportive, loving wife. She is the one who finds Logue and convinces her husband to see him. She manages to deal well with most of what happens. I think this is the most normal role that I've seen Helena Bonham Carter in. She does a wonderful job with the part. Elizabeth and Margaret, the daughters of Albert and Elizabeth, are in a few short scenes.
Michael Gambon does very well in a few short scenes as King George V. King Edward VIII isn't in as much of the movie and only briefly seen before he becomes king. He comes across as a jerk. Guy Pearce does well with the part. Timothy Spall turns up in a few scenes as Winston Churchill.
Lionel Logue is a speech therapists originally from Australia who has aspirations of being an actor. Lionel uses some unconventional methods, but they work. He is kind, though he will push Prince Albert/King George VI when he thinks it is necessary. Geoffrey Rush is wonderful in the part. Lionel's wife and sons are in a few short scenes, though they don't do that much. Several other characters turn up at least briefly.
The King's Speech is definitely worth watching.