Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The King’s Speech: some personal reaction

I was very happy to see The King’s Speech win four Oscars on Sunday night—well deserved. This movie was unique in its plot and character development. I very much enjoyed seeing it in the theatre; a welcome contrast to the action movies I typically view with my friends. The King’s Speech told an important story, was historically accurate and showed one man’s journey to deal with a serious stuttering problem and improve himself.

To a lesser degree, I too grew up with a stuttering problem. I know that experience of getting hung up and unable to continue or just bouncing on one sound. Perhaps growing up as an only child helped as I don’t recall very much ridicule. Thankfully, I largely grew out of the problem. Though as I say that, I wonder if it’s true. I’ve done a lot of public speaking, but I always prepare my speeches orally—I only put down on paper what ’m already comfortable speaking. And I think through my words carefully before speaking even in one-on-one conversation. If I get ahead my mental preparation sometimes I stutter a bit and sometimes I feel myself getting locked up, totally stuck. In any case, I’m so used to living with it today that it’s not really an impediment to me. [Hmm, just realized I would rephrase that last clause if this were a speech—too many ‘m’ sounds at the end.]

I’m sure many other people personally identified with The King’s Speech. One of them is Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly. Global did a great job of profiling Kelly and the Nova Scotia version of the movie, what could be called “The Mayor’s Speech.” Thankfully somehow uploaded this report to youtube and I was able to find it. Very cool story.

If you are questioning the historically accuracy of The King’s Speech, CBC did an excellent mini-documentary showing it’s accuracy: “When the King Spoke.”

And CBC also did a report on “The King’s Other Speech,” an international Commonwealth address that King George VI made from Winnipeg, three months before the speech that climaxed the movie and engaged the Commonwealth to stop Nazi Germany.

To see more of what Ken Symes is doing on the Internet, check out Ken Symes Google Profile.

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