The first edition of Complete Idiot's Guide to Bridge
by H. Anthony Medley was the fastest
selling beginning bridge book, going through more than 10 printings.
Second Edition includes some modern advanced bidding systems and
conventions, like Two over One, a system used by many modern
tournament players, Roman Key Card Blackwood, New Minor
Forcing, Reverse Drury, Forcing No Trump, and others.
Also included is a detailed Guide to
Bids and Responses, along with the most detailed, 12-page
Glossary ever published, as well as examples to make learning the game
even easier. Click book to order.
The Kingís Speech (7/10)
by Tony Medley
Run time 111 minutes.
OK for children.
This is a film with magnificent performances by
Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush and is based on the true story of
Britainís King George VI speech impediment. While I found his stammer a
bit disconcerting throughout the first hour, the movie picked up
substantially in the last hour, enough so that it is a moving tribute to
a man with exceptional courage.
The Prince of Wales, who became King Edward VIII
before abdicating and becoming the Duke of Windsor, is played by Guy
Pearce. He gives a terrific performance of the script as written, but
his interpretation of the weak Duke as a man with certitude seemed
misleading. The film touches on some of his weaknesses, but there are
lots of theories about why he abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson (Eve
Best, who looks the part). The two most noteworthy were suppositions
that he was gay and that he was pro-Nazi. But Pearce plays him with a
heterosexual self-confidence he never showed in later life, so the film
just buys into the spin that the reason he abdicated was for love.
That left his brother, Bertie, as he was known by
his family, to assume the role of monarch, something he and his family
had never expected or intended. Not only was he unprepared, but his
stammer made any speech required nothing but horror for him. Even so, he
persevered and took the crown. This film concentrates on the little
known story of the speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Rush), who helped
him. After a rough start, the two delve into an unorthodox course of
treatment which bonds them into an unbreakable friendship.
Director Tom Hopper (who also got wonderful
performances from his cast in his debut film, The Damned United
in 2009) missed a golden opportunity to emphasize the dichotomy between
the Prince of Wales, who appeared strong, and Bertie, who appeared weak.
In actuality, Bertie showed enormous courage and patriotism by assuming
the throne, knowing that it required him to do the one thing that he
deathly feared, making public speeches. And the Prince of Wales showed
enormous weakness in abdicating. But, alas, Hopper not only ignores this
story line, he misrepresents the Prince of Wales so the distinction is
not even alluded to.
In addition to Pearceís misleading interpretation
of the Prince of Wales, Timothy Spall gives a mystifying, wholly
inaccurate interpretation of Winston Churchill as an unsmiling,
unappealing grump, when, in fact, Churchill always had a glint in his
eye and possessed a marvelous sense of humor. You would never guess that
from Spallís performance in this film.
The film is a touching tribute to a man who has
been ignored by history and is enlivened by the performances of Rush and
Firth aided and abetted by a fine performance by Helena Bonham Carter as
Bertieís wife, who became the Queen Mother to Elizabeth II.
As a postscript, someone who knew the story
mentioned to the Queen Mother that it would make a fine film. Her reply
was that it might, but she hoped they would wait until after she died.