I found this TV production though not "historical", highly entertaining, 90% of it because of Ray Winstone's Henry VIII. He paints a portrait full of masculine vigor, with enough lust in his heart for at least a dozen men, and his tough guy East End accent somehow works well too, though it is quite a change from the Richard Burton/King's English type of Henry VIII I have previously seen.
There are scenes where he is memorable, like the emotion he expresses after Anne Boleyn (Helena Bonham Carter) gives birth to Princess Elizabeth..
In his old age Henry becomes a sad and sickly figure, and Winstone realistically catches that aspect of him too.
The rest of the large cast is also good, which includes David Suchet as Cardinal Wolsey, and Sean Bean in a role that is not long, but one of his most powerful, as Robert Aske, who goes against the king for having committed the brutal "dissolution of the monasteries".
The plot starts in 1509, with the death of Henry VII, and the young Henry VIII marrying Katherine of Aragon, but quickly segues to 1524, and centers on the last 21 years of Henry's life, with still no male heir from Katherine, enter Anne Boleyn and the other wives, court intrigue, and manipulations by Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell among those vying for power.
It is also quite gritty and bloody, and not for the young or squeamish, including muddy, violent battle and jousting scenes, lots of heads being chopped off, and even a dog fight, which fortunately is more heard than seen.
Well paced direction by Pete Travis, script by Peter Morgan, cinematography by Peter Middleton, and score by Robert Lane, make this an engrossing, if not historically accurate film, and since the core of this production are the intimate scenes, artistic license is to be expected.
Total running time is 250 minutes.