What Rupert Murdoch and 'The King's Speech' Have in Common
Wall Street Journal critic Joe Morgenstern says mogul Rupert Murdoch's father was cured by the same therapist as King George VI. So Lionel Logue not only saved England, he has a fan rich as a king.
As if Oscar magnet The King's Speech needed more fans, it apparently has one in News Corp. boss Murdoch, probably a more influential friend than alleged The King's Speech fan Queen Elizabeth. "Several weeks before [The King's Speech] opened, I had a conversation with Rupert Murdoch," Morgenstern wrote on Friday, "who popped a question familiar to movie critics: What should he see?"
"I suggested The King's Speech, and, not wanting to spoil it with too many details, gave a shorthand description: Colin Firth as King George VI, who has a terrible stutter, and Geoffrey Rush as a raffish Australian speech therapist."
"'Yes', he replied, Lionel Logue."
"'So you know the story'."
"'Not the story of the movie,' he said. 'Lionel Logue saved my father's life.'"
"When I responded with speechlessness, he explained that his father, as a young man, wanted passionately to be a newspaper reporter, but couldn't interview people because he stuttered. Then he met Lionel Logue, who cured him in less than a year."
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Scott, whose THR coverage appears both in print and online, is one of the film industry's most experienced and trusted awards analysts, and possesses one of the strongest track records at forecasting the Oscars. His best showings came in 2006 (when he called 21 of 24 winners) and 2004 (when he called 20 of 24 winners); he was also the only pundit to project long-shot best picture nominations for The Reader (2008), The Blind Side (2009) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011). An alumnus of Brandeis University, he previously ran "The Feinberg Files" blog for the Los Angeles Times. He is now a voting member of both the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, and is writing a book about film history for young people for which he has interviewed more than 350 high-profile Hollywood figures.
Gregg contributes awards news, features online, and "The Race" column in print.
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