King's Speech, The

WSR Score5
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Anchor Bay Entertainment / The Weinstein Company
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Some language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Tom Hooper
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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The King's Speech took home the top Oscars® for Best Picture, Best Actor (Colin Firth), Best Director (Tom Hooper), and Best Original Screenplay (David Seidler). After the death of his father King George V (Gambon), and the scandalous abdication of his brother King Edward VIII (Pearce), Bertie (Firth)—who has suffered from a debilitating speech impediment all his life—is suddenly crowned King George VI of England. With his country on the brink of war and in desperate need of a leader, his wife, Elizabeth (Carter), the future Queen Mother, arranges for her husband to see an eccentric speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Rush). After a rough start, the two delve into an unorthodox course of treatment and eventually forge a genuine friendship. Through this unexpected bond, the new monarch will overcome his stammer, to find his voice, inspire his people, and rally the world. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Director Tom Hooper, The King's Speech: An Inspirational Story Of An Unlikely Friendship featurette (SD 23:01), a Q&A with the director and cast (HD 22:02), two speeches from the real King George VI, The Real Lionel Logue featurette (SD 10:34), and The Stuttering Foundation PSA.

The 1.78:1 1080p picture is gloriously beautiful and conveys a perfect sense of period history. The imagery is natural throughout, with a non-exaggerated color palette, expressive in rich and warm hues. The picture reaps with warmth and cinematic beauty that is absolutely visually captivating. Fleshtones are accurately toned and depict individual character. Contrast is outstanding, with deep, solid blacks and nicely revealing shadow delineation. The sense of depth and dimension also is nicely accomplished. Resolution is excellent as well, with fine detail revealed in facial features, clothing, and object textures. This is an incredibly beautiful picture that is wonderful to view and appreciate the fine cinematography and acting. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is perfectly complementary to the picture, with a lush orchestral music score that is well recorded and extends wide and deep across the soundstage. Overall, the focus is frontal, as this is dialogue-directed storytelling. The dialogue is wonderfully intelligible and spatially integrated, providing a convincing sense of spatial context. The surrounds are activated during the music passages and occasionally during atmospheric and sound-effect application. In an early scene, Bertie's brother Edward lands on a country airstrip in a prop plane, and the surrounds are aggressively engaged effectively. Then, again, after the announcement that England is at war with Nazi Germany and the lead up to The King's Speech, the soundfield is effectively engaged. This is a wonderful soundtrack focused on dialogue, with effective Foley, sound effects, and music in supporting roles. (Gary Reber)