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The King's Speech
The King’s Speech is the tale of Elizabeth II's father and his remarkable friendship with maverick speech therapist Lionel Logue. Fascinating, moving and often humourous it charts the personal relationship that developed between England's reluctant King George VI, plagued by a nervous stammer, and his irreverent Australian speech therapist. As the second son of George V, Prince Albert "Bertie" was not expected to ascend to the throne, but when his brother Edward abdicates to marry American Wallis Simpson, Bertie, as his successor, is crowned King George VI. George becomes King as radio is taking off as a mass medium and the Second World War looms. Thrust into the international spotlight he must speak not only to the nation but to the people of the British Empire, across the world. His wife, Queen Elizabeth - the future Queen Mother - is tireless in her belief in him. Having tried all the traditional doctors she engages unorthodox outsider, Logue, to help him find a voice that can inspire a nation on the brink of war.
Helen Mirren reigns supreme in The Queen, a witty and ingenious look at a moment that rocked the house of Windsor: the week that followed the sudden death of Princess Diana in 1997. Diana's death came at just the same time that Prime Minister Tony Blair (played by the bright Michael Sheen) was settling into his new government--and trying to figure out the delicate relationship between 10 Downing Street and Queen Elizabeth II (Mirren). A large portion of the British population was trying to figure out the Windsors that week, as Elizabeth remained stiff-upper-lip and largely mum about the death of the beloved princess. In Peter Morgan's skillful script, we watch as Blair grows increasingly impatient with the Royals, who are sequestered in their Scottish estate while the public demands some show of grief. Prince Philip (James Cromwell, in good form) clumsily decides to take Diana's sons hunting, while a sympathetically-treated Prince Charles (Alex Jennings) displays some frustration with his mother's eerie calm.--Robert Horton
The Young Victoria
The Young Victoria is a lavish costume drama that focuses on the early life of Queen Victoria (Emily Blunt, My Summer of Love, The Devil Wears Prada), one of the most venerated monarchs in British history. Born into nobility, her ascent to the throne was assured. Politically however, Victoria's inexperience meant that she relied heavily upon advisers to guide her. None more so than her cousin Prince Albert (Rupert Friend, Pride and Prejudice), who, at the tender age of 21 she married and went on to have nine children with.