As I sat there watching the film, I couldn’t help thinking about my late brother George, how he suffered with his own dreadful stammer, and how he went through life always “struggling for words”.
George died in 1980, and he was just 54 which seemed way too young to me for anyone to pass.
The speech therapist Lionel Logue, portrayed brilliantly by Geoffrey Rush, was convinced that most stammers are usually triggered by some traumatic event, often experienced during early childhood, as happened in my Brother George’s case.
For “our family’s George”, that traumatic event came about one day when our brother Frank was asleep in his pram. Being that it was a nice warm sunny day, my mother had wheeled the baby asleep in his pram outside and parked it by the front door in the fresh air. She’d asked young George (who happened to be playing in the street at the time) to keep a close eye on his baby brother.
What happened next was unimaginable. A passerby tossed his cigarette-end away, and hadn’t noticed it landed inside the pram. It took a while before a small fire took hold and few minutes more before George saw smoke and flames rising from the pram.
He couldn’t believe his eyes as he raced across the street to grab the baby out of the pram, burning his hands in the process.
Baby Frank, by some miracle, was unharmed. However, the shock of this terrifying incident, was the catalyst for five year old George developing a debilitating stammer which unfortunately remained with him, for the rest of his life.
Watching the amazing performances of the cast in this movie but especially Colin Firth’ s playing Britain’s much loved King George VI (the current Queen of England’s father), gave me a greater understanding of the mortifying embarrassment our own George was forced to live and deal with.
Funny isn’t it, how you leave the house to go watch a film, thinking it’ll just entertain you for the evening? Yet when it’s done as well done as this is, they really do touch your heart and mind.
As Hollywood embarks on its annual Oscar frenzy, I’m finding myself a little more interested than usual, maybe because I feel like I have a horse in the race this year.
How about you? Scroll down to leave a comment and let me know – who are you and your friends rooting for in the Oscar’s?