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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

A Speech Worth Listening To

A Speech Worth Listening To

The theater was as packed as the midnight premiere of a Harry Potter film, leaving me with a crappy seat towards the front. However, this was not the latest in the boy wizard’s escapades, but rather the trials and tribulations of Britain’s Prince Albert as portrayed in The King’s Speech, a film that had already been out for more than a month.

Maybe the throngs turned out on a frigid Friday night because Colin Firth, who plays the tormented prince, had recently won a Golden Globe for Best Actor. More likely, it was simply that word was out that this is a remarkable tale of a leader who must rise above his speech impediment to become a beacon of strength and hope for his people at a time of war.  I was glad to have any seat at all.

The film’s power lies in the unusual relationship between Prince Albert and his speech therapist Lionel Logue, played by Geoffrey Rush. Logue, a failed actor lacking traditional training in speech therapy, was an unlikely candidate to help the prince overcome a stutter he had since he was four.  Introduced by Albert’s devoted wife, Elizabeth, played by Helena Bonham Carter (of Bellatrix Lestrange fame), the men develop an intense friendship that helped Albert toward a cure of his debilitating tic as he made the transition to the throne. Director Tom Hooper, who also directed the critically acclaimed HBO miniseries John Adams, shows how their work together to give Albert his voice proved vital to the British people when they most needed their king’s vocal reassurances in the dark days of war.

Firth plays to perfection the king’s hiccups, pauses and glimmers of embarrassment. We come to feel his utter frustration. Bertie, as he is affectionately called, has been thrust into the limelight because of the death of his father King George V, played by Michael Gambon (of Dumbledore fame), and the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII, played by Guy Pearce, and must face the horror of countless public speeches and appearances.  The film shows the new king’s great sense of duty. He endures Logue’s unconventional techniques with great dignity and perseverance.

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While Firth’s performance was superb, Rush outshone him at times, as the vibrant, witty backbone of the king’s transformation. He wouldn’t let Bertie back down from the greatness that awaited him.

The King’s Speech is a vivid, moving chronicle of a distraught king dealing with a commoner’s problem and a friend’s undying support for his majesty and his nation.

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About the Contributor
Katie Levingston
Katie Levingston, Online Editor in Chief
Although she seems quiet on the outside, 2010-2011 Online Editor-in-Chief Katie Levingston is bursting with energy on the inside. A former young Parisian in her second year on staff, Katie models her life after certain television shows, namely Gilmore Girls and Friends. She is unnaturally familiar with said sitcoms; she longs for the day when she can eat anything she wants and spend all her time at Central Perk in the Village. Nothing happens to her in real life, it all happens in Stars Hollow or in Monica’s apartment… okay? When she’s not practicing her speed-talking, she plays a mean clarinet in many different musical groups and spends inordinate amounts of time editing videos for the website. Among her most pressing decisions in life are what to order at a restaurant and which scarf to wear that day. She is insanely proud of her thick curly hair when it cooperates. She’s super excited to be a part of the up-and-coming wjpitch.com. Her doppelganger Anne Hathaway says, "Hi!"
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