I absolutely enjoyed "The King's Speech." I thought the acting was superb, and the screenplay was was one that emphasized the power of friendship and the ability to overcome a substantial obstacle. Those are great themes for a film to display for its audience. But I knew from the moment I sat my anglophilic self down in that theatre seat that I was watching fiction. What I didn't know, because I didn't study that era of British history, as closely as I have studied the same era in American history, was the real story surrounding the King and his Prime Ministers as war loomed.
Coming to my rescue, and before I broke out my own books, is Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens article on the history covering what happened with the Prime Ministers Chamberlain and Churchill was, for lack of a better term, delicious reading. Hitchens reminds me of why I am always skeptical of historical movies, even those that I think are really great ("Glory" comes to mind). I know that I am there to be entertained, not necessarily taught. What Hitchens does for all of us who aren't as familiar with the actual history is to give a corrective to the film. All historical movies should be so lucky to have such a wonderful critique (as well as members of Congress).
And I am still rooting for Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and of course Helena Bonham Carter (I adore her) for the Academy Awards, though I think only Firth will prevail.