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"The King's Speech," the big winner at this year's Oscars where it scored four awards, including Best Picture, finally lands on DVD and Blu-ray this week after recently hitting theaters again (the second time with a family friendly PG-13 rating). Lucky for us, The Weinstein Company opted to release the original cut for home viewers, royal cussing included.
For those living under a rock, Best Actor winner Colin Firth plays King George, who reluctantly assumes the throne after his brother, Edward (Guy Pearce), abdicates. Problem is, the new King can't get a word out when he steps in front of a crowd. So with the help of an unorthodox speech therapist, (Geoffrey Rush), and with ample support from his stealthy wife (Helena Bonham Carter), King George works his royal arse off to prove he can lead a nation.
Like past UK-bred Best Picture winners "Shakespeare in Love" and "Chariots of Fire, "King's Speech" inspires, uplifts and comes wrapped in one classy package.
The cast is chockfull of some of Britain's finest thespians. As the titular King, the ever reliable Firth stammers convincingly (no small feat) and makes a royal dilemma oddly relatable; it's no wonder he struck gold. And Rush turns in one of his best performances to date (that's saying something). Their sparring matches make for the most fun bits in the film. Bonham Carter, meanwhile, turns in a crafty, subtle turn, adding some spark to the equation.
So what of unknown-to-now director Tom Hooper? Well behind every great performance is a great director. This film boasts three Oscar-nominated portrayals of real-life figures, so do the math. What Hooper also brings to the table is a lot of heart. You'd be hard-pressed not to shed a tear during the film's rousing finale.
Together Hooper and his crop of actors craft a period drama fit for a king...and that gold statuette.
Extras! Royal treats await those that take this period drama home. A making-of featurette goes behind the scenes to show how Hooper brought this true story to life. The filmmaker also takes part in an extensive audio commentary and a Q&A along with the cast. The disc is topped off with speeches from the real King George VI.