It would help to be familiar with "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" from "The Chronicles of Narnia" series by C.S. Lewis before seeing this film. Fortunately, it's been made into a movie in the meantime, so you don't have to do any actual reading. Of course, whether it's worth seeing that film in order to fully understand this film is up to you. It'd make an interesting double feature.
I should also note that while C.S. Lewis' work is Christian-themed, this movie based on actual events is not; in fact, it takes a few well-deserved shots at the vapidity of his writing.
But hey it's about the private life of the great fantasy writer C.S Lewis in his older years played brilliantly by Hopkins, a great Welsh actor (not British).
Full of intellectual dullards, total stiffs man, yet this is a film I recommend highly to get a glimpse of England in straighter times, and one could say purer times too.
The nobility of this country have always puzzled me, they carry so much weight, yet what magic they can create for all, especially for children in the Narnia chronicles.
Excellent film, well done Dickie (Attenborough, Director)
Time for something looser next methinks
Good performances from Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger in the lead roles.