Culture Club: Readers review The King's Speech

Readers review this week's big film
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The Independent Culture

"As a speech and language therapist working with clients who stammer, I feel that Colin Firth's sensitive portrayal of King George VI and his stammer is simply outstanding. Firth embraces the speech and non-speech aspects of the King's dysfluency in an exceptionally skilled and realistic way. A cinematic masterpiece for the world of stammering."

Simon Henderson

"Only Jeff Bridges (True Grit) is a serious rival to Colin Firth getting his first Oscar. Firth has come a long way from being a wet lover in Pride and Prejudice; he's stammering his way to a deserved success in The King's Sssspeech"!

Arnold Pearce

"Yet another Brit flick made to pander to an American audience's stereotypes of us. Is this really worthy of a motion picture? On the bright side, at least it's not yet another dire East End gangster flick."

Phil Thompson

"Especially evocative for those of us who remember the dark days and the annual Christmas Day ritual when, with apprehension, we listened to our King with the hope that this time things would run more smoothly for him than on some previous occasions. Fortunately, this defect was overshadowed by the royal charisma so aptly portrayed by Colin Firth, with the substantial support of Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush."

Brian Cripps

"Colin Firth puts in an Oscar-worthy performance as Bertie, an intensely private man who must face his duty as King George VI. Geoffrey Rush is sparkling as Bertie's unorthodox speech therapist, Logue, and Helena Bonham Carter is a resplendent Elizabeth. The film was perhaps let down by the occasional emotionally overwrought scene; that Bertie and Logue overcame seemingly insuperable barriers to become friends is in no doubt, but the emphasis on their friendship against all odds is tinged with a sentimentality the film would have benefited from losing."

Natalie Barker

"As far as I could tell, all the contemporary details were authentic, with one exception: was the expression 'in the loo' really common in the 1930s? Even when spoken by an Australian? An added bonus was the unexpected appearance of Michael Gambon, brilliant as the dying King George V; also Derek Jacobi, pompous as Archbishop Cosmo Lang, and the ever-delightful Timothy Spall as Churchill."

Rosemary Mathew

"Colin Firth was amazing in his portrayal of George. He brought out all the frustration, embarrassment, self-doubt and often anger associated with this disability. Alongside was the fascinating development of a friendship with his 'commoner' speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush), who became his first real 'friend'."

Jill Ross

"A film about a slightly irritating maverick therapist who attempts to cure the King of his affliction using wacky, unconventional methods? Sounds familiar! But although Colin Firth and the rest of the cast are tip top, it somehow doesn't reach the heights of The Madness of King George."

Jane Prince

"The film itself is mind-blowing – let alone Firth's performance."

Matt Evers

"Enough sympathy for the royals. Let's see the vile Edward VIII getting chummy with Hitler next time – then we'll really appreciate George VI."

Roz Grenfield

Next week in Culture Club: Glee

Please email your views on the second series of E4's teen soap musical to Is it as good as ever? Or was the first series a one-hit wonder? The best will be published next Thursday