The end-of-year movie rush is on, and it’s rich in films of Jewish interest, including the Coen Brothers’ latest, True Grit. Tablet Magazine offers its top 10.
The King’s Speech
It’s true that King George VI—the former Prince Albert, familiarly known as Bertie, who ascended to the British throne in 1936 after his older brother, Edward, abdicated to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson—had a debilitating stammer, which he lost with training from an Australian speech therapist who got his start helping shell-shocked World War I vets. But the film version of that story developed from one stuttering Jewish boy’s fascination with how other people managed to overcome the handicap. That boy became The King’s Speech‘s screenwriter, David Seidler. Seidler fled London with his parents during the Blitz only to have a ship in his convoy sunk by a German U-boat, which prompted persistent dreams about death camps and gas chambers, anxieties that manifested themselves in daylight hours in his speech. “I’m pretty sure I left England speaking normally,” Seidler, who recovered, said in a recent interview. “But I arrived in America as a stutterer.”
In the poems of Silver Roses, the late Rachel Wetzsteon—who took her own life last year—is still very much alive