I didn't really have a huge care to see this movie when I first heard of it. Didn't really know Colin Firth by name. Geoffrey Rush was Captain Barbossa in Pirates. Tim Burton wasn't directing it so why is Helena Bonham Carter in it? However, I do try to make it a point to watch the "Oscar buzz" movies so that when they suck (and they usually do) I can actually have a reason for it. Sadly, I missed out on 127 Hours before it left the theater and I didn't intend to make the same mistake for this one.
What I got was a story of perseverance and finding one's own voice, all rattled to the tune of an awesome, crazy, old man.
Speech tells the story of The Duke of York as his father (George the 5th) lies dying, his older brother next in line and he with a life-long stammering problem that he wants to fix. Rush is the old codger whose unorthodox ways are suppose to help The 6th into a position of comfortable speaking. Not all are fit for what's happening and he must always be prepared for the spotlight.
Colin Firth (whom I have never actually seen act before, his voice in A Christmas Carol being the only movie I have seen) was great. His demeanor as the unsure George VI was amazing. You can see how much his body language changes from start to finish and it's quite an extraordinary performance to see. Rush as the no-rules-apply speech therapist was also great. His wit and humor played against Firth's unease brilliantly. I don't think this was the be-all-end-all movie of the year and I'm not saying that either Firth or Rush had the best performance of the year but it was quite a movie and I would absolutely recommend seeing this. Great movie and I hope it beats out Social Network for everything it's up for.