King's Speech/The Queen/The Young Victoria (UK-import) (DVD)

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Triple bill of acclaimed British dramas based on the lives of members of the royal family. Tom Hooper directs the multi-award-winning drama 'The King's Speech' (2010). The film traces the relationship between King George VI (Colin Firth, in a Golden Globe and Oscar-winning performance) and his speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush). After reluctantly acceding to the throne when his older brother Edward VIII (Guy Pearce) abdicates, George (or 'Bertie' to his family and friends) is forced to act when his stutter leads to concerns about his leadership. Help is soon at hand, however, when he employs unconventional speech therapist Lionel Logue, who, using previously untried techniques, begins to bring about improvements in George's speech. As the relationship between the two begins to strengthen, the King's new found confidence grows, just in time for him to lead his country through its gravest hour. 'The Queen' (2006) is Stephen Frears' critically-acclaimed portrait of the English monarch in times of strife. It is 1997 and Tony Blair's Labour government has just won an election, ending 18 years of Conservative rule. Blair the firebrand (Michael Sheen) must introduce himself to the Queen (Helen Mirren) and ask permission to govern the country. The stone-faced Regina, in accepting, gives him not a millimetre of slack, silently underscoring the fact she's in charge. Shortly thereafter, the former Princess of Wales, wife of Elizabeth's son and heir, is killed in Paris. The Queen's initial reaction is to hold ranks and treat Diana as an outsider, since she is no longer a member of the royal household. Blair senses the coming landslide of public opinion against this course of action and tries, as hard as a new boy can, to make Her Majesty see sense. Emily Blunt takes the titular role in 'The Young Victoria' (2009), Jean-Marc Vallee's Oscar-winning dramatisation of the early years of Queen Victoria's rule, which began when she was just 18 years old, and her enduring romance and marriage to Prince Albert (Rupert Friend). Jim Broadbent and Miranda Richardson co-star as King William (Victoria's uncle) and the Duchess of Kent respectively.


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