“I grew up knowing I wanted to do something about Bertie. It just took an awfully long time to get there.”
David Seidler, screenwriter
The King’s Speech — what a beautifully acted and scripted film! My friend Janice, who’s working on a screenplay, raved about the writing and after seeing the movie, I can see why. Literate, compassionate, humorous, painful — it packs a lot of emotion into a small, very human story about a big moment.
The story behind the screenplay is almost as exciting as the story it tells. Like King George VI, screenwriter David Seidler suffered from a severe stutter through adolescence. David’s problem was triggered by a traumatic World War II evacuation. When he heard that King George had given “ wonderful, moving speeches,” during the war, it gave him the courage to battle his own impediment.
Telling the King George’s story became a lifelong passion. It took David almost 30 years to bring his script to the screen — now that’s patience! Along the way, he wrote everything from TV shows to propaganda for the prime minister of Fiji. Surely in his long career, he’s written an ocean of words — and probably every single one of them contributed in some way to fulfilling his dream. The result is a “witty and heartbreaking screenplay,” that’s in the running for an Oscar.
What’s wonderful about the story is how one seemingly small moment in history can be rescued and revealed in all its glory. The movie’s success is so inspiring because it affirms the power of storytelling on a human scale. Stutterers grow up feeling that they have no right to speak — that their words cause pain. When 2,000 people attending the Toronto film festival gave The King’s Speech a standing ovation, David says, “I was overwhelmed, because for the first time ever, the penny dropped and I felt I had a voice and had been heard.” Today, at 73, he’s is the hottest screenwriter around. Absolutely fabulous!