Sunday, November 28, 2010
David Seidler's Screenplay for "The King's Speech" Written from Experience
It was during the 1980's that Seidler began his dream project about King George and his Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush). While developing the project, he located Logue's last surviving son Valentine, who agreed to lend his father's notebooks on the condition that Seidler obtain permission form the Queen Mother (played by Helena Bonham-Carter) to tell the story. She refused immediate permission explaining that the story was still too painful. She granted permission to complete the work upon her death-- at age 101, 28 years later!
Seidler, under guidance from Director Tom Hooper, created about 50 drafts of the screenplay, in an effort to eliminate any sense of theatricality or inauthenticity.
During his research of the notebooks, Seidler learned that the "cure" was effected through Logue's amateur Freudian-style analysis, which he practiced successfully on traumatized Australian soldiers. In a coincidental development, which strengthened Seidler's connection to Logue and the King's story, he found out that his own uncle, also a stutterer, took the cure from Logue as well.
At the Toronto festival this past September, as an audience of two thousand rose to their feet to applaud the film at a gala performance, Seidler "was overwhelmed.....there I was blubbering, the mucus and the tears coming down! This has been a very cathartic experience!"
David Seidler is, to his amazement, a hot property. After channeling the frustration and difficulty he experienced in his early life into the creation of screen characters, based on actual historic figures, with which he shared an intimate understanding, it now looks as though Seidler has, shall we say, written his own ticket. At 73 years old, he has a newly-invented career ahead of him.
The movie has since received 8 nominations for the British Independent Film Awards.
In an upcoming post, I'll look at the actual speech the King delivered that moved the world, along with a look at an early Colin Firth performance in a delicious 1988 thriller.
Check out the trailer for "The King's Speech" below.