(12a) 118mins

Wednesday, 12th January 2011, 11:49 am

Director: Tom Hooper

Starring: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham-Carter, Derek Jacobi, Timothy Spall.

THE ‘O’ word is being bandied about for this movie - and no wonder. Publicly in true British fashion Colin Firth seems to be the only one not saying he will win an Oscar, though secretly he might be working out which bit of the mantelpiece he’ll be putting it on.

Writer David Seidler, though, should also be heralded, though, as the screenplay is excellent.

Firth plays Prince Albert who suffers from a desperate stammer - but he needs to make public speeches so, encouraged by his wife (Bonham-Carter) he tries all manner of therapists until he meets Lionel Logue (Rush).

The unusual and controversial methods of Logue (including plenty of swearing) bring him into conflict with the Royals but a bond is formed.

With his brother having abdicated the throne and an impending war with Germany on the horizon, Prince Albert, now King, must conquer his impediment for a speech that will rally the nation.

There is much to commend this movie. The lighter moments are truly funny and there are also very poignant moments as the Prince recalls his strict and often sad young life.

The cast list reads like a Who’s Who of top British talent and all the cameo roles are brilliant, with Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill (the second time he’s played the part), Michael Gambon as King George V and Claire Bloom as Queen Mary.

This is a film that entertains throughout its 118 minutes and which gives us an insight into what life as a Royal can be like- far from enjoyable.

five out of five stars

Steve Payne

See this week’s County and Crawley Times (January 13 issue) for a chance to win a merchandise pack and tickets to see the film.

Film screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley.