Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The King's speech movie


The movie The King's Speech (and here) will be the media event on stuttering for at least a decade. So please stuttering associations prepare a media strategy! It is the first main stream big screen movie that exclusively and explicitly focuses on stuttering. Stuttering is not just a symbol of nervousness, hesitancy, or fun, but the movie portrays a real person who stutters with all his issues, challenges and triumphs. No doubt, reality was sightly less dramatic. But I hear of realistic portrayals, i.e. no cures but improvement in speech and in psychosocial adaptation. This movie will do much to change the common people's perceptions. Colin Firth plays the king: the stuttering or stammering George VI or the stutter/stammer of George VI. (This strange sentence  gets a better google rating! ;-) We all know him as Bridget Jones' fall back guy and as Mr Darcy.

Unfortunately, I have also changed my view on the Queen Mother. I always looked at her biblical age with awe and inspiration. But may be she should have died at a reasonable age...
It turns out that David Seidler [the script writer] also had a stuttering problem as a child and drew inspiration from the king's struggle. Early in his career he wanted to write a screenplay about it. He dutifully asked the Queen Mother for permission. She agreed but told him "not in my lifetime". Little did he know she would live to be 101 and he would have to wait another 30 years.
I also watched a press conference where David Seidler says that his stuttering was triggered by their moving to the US from Britain! Oh god. I hope he doesn't repeat that line too often. If you know him, tell him that millions moved to the US and did not start stuttering. And millions started stuttering without moving to the US!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Colin Firth is at first the best Mr. Darcy ever, namely in the famous BBC adaption of Pride an Prejudice. He played 'Mark Darcy' in the Bridget Jones movie as a laced with innuendo allusion.
Aaaand this year Colin Firth was nominated for the Oscar for his role in A Single Man.
Him as a stuttering role model - I won't dare to imagine what kind of image stuttering men will be confronted then ;).
A stuttering woman.

Peter Louw said...

"David Seidler says that his stuttering was triggered by their moving to the US from Britain! Oh god. I hope he doesn't repeat that line too often. If you know him, tell him that millions moved to the US and did not start stuttering."

MANY PWS have stated that their stuttering was triggered by a stressful event. This should not be a point of debate, it's common knowledge. There is a difference between "triggered" and "caused". Why do you take issue with this?

Tom Weidig said...

Because it's highly misleading. When ever something happens to someone, he or she will look at the immediate past and environment to find a correlate and say this is the explanation.

But that doesn't say anything about whether the events was triggered (i.e. would have happened anyway in the next weeks) or caused by the correlation.

So he cannot even say it has been triggered. He can only safely say "I started stuttering around the time when I moved to the US. So I experienced two dramatic events in my young life at around the same time."

Konstantin said...

Does someone know where we can listen to a real speech of George VI?

Carl Herder said...

Konstantin,

Our staff was also interested in hearing his speech in a recording. We actually found a recording of George VI’s broadcast to the nation as England declared war on Germany in 1939.

See the link below for our blog post.
http://stutteringtreatment.org/blog/2010/10/the-history-behind-‘the-king’s-speech’-listen-to-king-george-vi-himself/#comments

Carl Herder
American Institute for Stuttering

Einar said...

Here's the original speech:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAhFW_auT20

Konstantin said...

Thank you, Carl!

Stuttering Stanley said...

I really want to see this film!

vivek said...

When is this movie releasing ? Can't wait to watch it.