Colin Firth makes an excellent King George VI — so excellent, in fact, that he earned himself an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. But that doesn’t make The King’s Speech a historically accurate film. As Christopher Hitchens points out in Slate, Winston Churchill was a close friend and supporter of Nazi-sympathizer King Edward VIII (George VI’s brother, who abdicated the throne in order to marry a divorced socialite, leaving George to stutter his way through the monarchy). In the movie, though, Churchill is constantly portrayed as being on George’s side. The filmmakers also fudged the chronology: The King’s Speech gives the impression that George VI and his speech therapist worked together for only a few years in the mid-1930s, when in reality the two began their relationship as early as 1926. Of course, none of that seems to matter to the Academy, which nominated The King’s Speech for a whopping 12 awards.
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