"The King's Speech," starring Colin Firth as King George VI, swept the 2011 Academy Award nominations with a whopping 12 nods. The film tells the story of George VI's terrible stutter, which he was able to get under control -- for the most part, at least -- thanks to the unorthodox teachings of an Australian speech coach. Most of the film takes place before George VI's coronation, when he's just plain old Prince Albert, or Bertie.
So how accurate is "The King's Speech"?
Writers can't agree. British newspaper The Guardian gave "The King's Speech" a B+ grade for the veracity of the history told. But American magazine The New Republic dismissed it as "historically inaccurate, entirely misleading, and, in its own small way, morally dubious."
Here are some of the film's errors:
In the movie, a speech coach tries to fix then Prince Albert's stutter by having him speak with marbles in his mouth. That's something "straight out of 'My Fair Lady,'" says The Guardian, although another king with a stutter, Charles I, put pebbles in his mouth in an attempt to cure himself.
The age of onset
Another U.K. paper, The Telegraph, notes that Albert's stutter emerged around the age of 8. But in the movie, Albert guesses that it began to plague him when he was about 4 or 5.
When Albert and Lionel Logue met
In the movie, the king and his speech therapist begin working together in the 1930s. But in real life, Albert began seeing Logue a decade earlier, in the 1920s.
Albert's relationship with Winston Churchill
In the movie, Winston Churchill encourages Albert to take the throne because of his older brother King Edward VIII's scandalous relationship with a divorcee. But in real life, as The Guardian notes, the famous prime minister supported the elder brother and wanted him to remain king.
The beginning of World War II
The New Republic says the film glosses over the royal family's politics -- including Edward VIII's Nazi sympathies and Albert's support of appeasement.
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