Sunday, March 6, 2011
Stuttering is a royal pain
Early last month I saw the historical drama, The King’s Speech, at The Flicks here in Boise. It is an impressive movie, particularly considering the relatively low budget (around $16 million). The plot is about King George VI overcoming his stutter (or stammer) with the help of an unorthodox speech therapist who also becomes his friend.
Late last month I was pleasantly surprised to see it win four Academy Awards (Oscars) for:
Best Leading Actor (Colin Firth)
Best Director (Tom Hooper)
Best Original Screenplay (David Seidler)
The award for Best Picture was particularly surprising, because another nominee was Inception, a $160 million science-fiction action film. It starred both Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Caine, and seemed a much more obvious choice.
The King’s Speech was unusual for offering a sympathetic portrayal of a stutterer. More commonly in movies that problem is portrayed for comic effect, as in A Fish Called Wanda where Michael Palin played the stammering Ken Pile. Palin’s father had a stammer.
You can find out more about stuttering from the National Stuttering Association and the Stuttering Foundation.