You wouldn’t necessarily think that speech therapy would make a compelling subject for a hit movie. ButThe King’s Speech—which tells the true story of King George VI’s efforts to cope with a severe stutter in the lead-up to Second World War—manages to wring great drama out of the process: fear, angst, humour, sadness and, ultimately, the sense of joy that comes from triumphing through personal adversity.
Riding a wave of critical acclaim, the film took home a Golden Globe Sunday night for best actor (Colin Firth) and is expected to be a major contender at next month’s Academy Awards. And it counts Will Webster, Dean of Dalhousie’s Faculty of Health Professions, among its admirers.
“I thought the movie was very well done,” says Dr. Webster, who has stuttered, as he puts it, “from the moment I opened my mouth” and whose research program for many years has focused on brain mechanisms associated with stuttering. Dr. Webster says he saw his own experience reflected in the film.
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