With rather staggering irony, von Tunzelmann authored a column for the Guardian for a period, Reel History, whose subject is the relationship cinema has with historical truth! One has to wonder how and why someone who regularly dissects films to see how accurate they are could then go and commit such blatant calumny. Especially at a time - the 70th anniversary of the war's end - when both the man and the times and events depicted were being celebrated and remembered.
Brian Cox is a decent actor, and he plays his role with, er... well, if not gusto, then something similar. But the Churchill we see here is petulant, contrarian and ill-informed. The issue for me isn't really about how this portrayal undermines the celebrated image of Churchill, which it certainly does. It's about the implausibility of so many moments, from the more personal and mundane level, like his secretaries' emotional outburst over her spouse, to grand strategy; the idea that Monty only let Churchill in on his plans for D-Day the day before the invasion is utterly preposterous.
We did watch the film all the way through; the acting and production made it watchable. But I did find it beyond the pale, in terms of attempting to pass itself off as an exposé of the 'man behind the myth' (a tag-line for the movie was "the icon you know, the man you don't"). In the parlance of our times this might be described as a historical 'reboot'. But that would play down what is, frankly, a shockingly poor, slanderous even, rendering of history.
By all means watch it. But be sure to check it against real history.