When you go see a movie that's based on a true story, especially one based on a particular person's life, there's no promising the the story is going to have that fuzzy movie feeling. Real life doesn't usually have a classic three-act story arc. The ending of a biopic often peters out or just ends abruptly.
This is part of what makes The King's Speech so wonderful. It has all the touching gravity of a true story, but still moves along and captures your attention like a work of total fiction. This is probably because the writers made the wise decision to focus on a particular (and particularly volatile) chapter in the main character's life. And what a main character! Set in the 1920s and '30s, the film focuses on Berty (a terrific Colin Firth), aka Britain's King George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth II.
Having lived in the shadow of his brother Edward and his formidable father (a king, after all, makes for a pretty intimidating role model), King George V, Berty (as his family calls him) must overcome his lifelong feelings of inadequacy in his country's proverbial hour of need. This is not as simple a task as it may sound – the would-be king has suffered from a severe stutter for nearly all his life, and no Royal Speech Therapist or Vocal Doctor to the Crown of any type can seem to help. Having more or less given up hope, Berty's wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter, who, my dad observed, looked "prettier" than she has in many of her recent crazy roles) turns to an outsider, a speech therapist not sanctioned by the throne. Geoffrey Rush makes a typically spirited turn as Lionel Logue, the unorthodox specialist who breaks with the typical royal-subject deference guidelines and becomes a true friend to the future head of Great Britain.
The King's Speech manages to simultaneously tell a true story, make speech therapy dramatic and exciting, stir up the patriotic emotions tied to World War II and facing up to Hitler's Germany, all while leading up to a breathtaking climax disguised as a long, slow radio address. It succeeds beautifully. This one should serve as a lesson to biopic makers everywhere.