Colin Firth plays King George VI who, to cope with a stammer, sees Lionel Logue, an Australian speech therapist played by Geoffrey Rush. The men become friends as they work together, and after his brother abdicates the throne, the new King relies on Logue to help him make his first wartime radio broadcast on Britain's declaration of war on Germany in 1939.
Seidler read about George VI's life after overcoming a stuttering condition he endured during his youth. He started writing about the relationship between the monarch and his therapist as early as the 1980s, but at the request of the King's widow, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, postponed work until her death in 2002.
Principal photography took place in London and around Britain from November 2009 to January 2010. The opening scenes were filmed at Elland Road in Leeds, which stood in for the old Wembley Stadium. For indoor scenes, Lancaster House substituted for Buckingham Palace, and Ely Cathedral stood in for Westminster Abbey.
The King's Speech was a major box office and critical success. On a budget of £8 million - £1 million from the National Lottery - it earned over £250 million. It was widely praised by film critics for its visual style, art direction, and acting and received many awards and nominations, particularly for Colin Firth's performance; his Golden Globe Award for Best Actor was the sole win at that ceremony from seven nominations. The King's Speech won seven British Academy Film Awards, including Best Picture, and Best Actor (Firth), Best Supporting Actor (Rush), and Best Supporting Actress (Helena Bonham Carter). The film also won four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director (Hooper), Best Actor (Firth), and Best Original Screenplay (Seidler).
The return on the Lottery investment was returned to the British Film Institute's film fund to train the film makers of the future.
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The King's speech was funded by The British Film Institute
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