We're breaking down all the Oscar contenders for you, so that you can decide whether you want to see them -- or at the very least, hold your own at cocktail parties. We're kicking off the series with 'The King's Speech,' a historical drama based on the true story of King George VI's friendship with his speech therapist.

Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Director (Tom Hooper), Best Actor (Colin Firth), Best Supporting Actor (Geoffrey Rush), Best Supporting Actress (Helena Bonham Carter), Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction
What It's About: 'The King's Speech' follows King George VI's (Colin Firth) sudden ascension to the British throne and his personal battle to overcome a speech impediment. Prompted by his wife, the Queen Mother (Carter), the King seeks help from countless speech "experts" only to endure a string of failed cure methods. Frustrated and hopeless, he reluctantly agrees to visit one more therapist, the quirky, unorthodox Lionel Logue (Rush). As Logue helps the King overcome his stammer, their doctor-patient relationship transforms into a profound, life-long friendship.

Why You Should See It: 'The King's Speech' is many things. It's a well-acted movie, with Firth giving a career-best performance in the title role, supported by the divine Carter and phenomenal Rush. It's also impeccably directed by Tom Hooper, who breathes new life into the historical drama sub-genre. But above all else, its screenplay, penned by David Seidler, is why people should see this movie. His beautifully crafted script transforms a rather unremarkable snippet of history into something moving, endearing, funny and even relatable. You don't have to be a history buff to get wrapped up in 'The King's Speech.'

It's Kind Of Like: 'The Queen' meets 'Pygmalion'

How You Can See It: In theaters now

Full Oscar Nominations 2011 List
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Watch the Trailer for 'The King's Speech'
The King's Speech
R 2010
Based on 41 critics

An Australian actor tries to help Britain's King George VI overcome a speech impediment. Read More

categories Features, Oscars