Linda Bassett was 36 or 37 at the time of production, while Gertrude Stein both the real person, and the character Bassett portrayed, was aged 62 to 65 during the late 1930s (the exact 1930s year is not specified in the film, although it is concurrent with the Spanish Civil War, July 17, 1936 to April 1, 1939), the time period setting for the film.
Linda Hunt was 41 or 42 at the time of production, while Alice B. Toklas both the real person, and the character Hunt portrayed, was aged 59 to 62 during the late 1930s (the exact 1930s year is not specified in the film, although it is concurrent with the Spanish Civil War, July 17, 1936 to April 1, 1939), the time period setting for the film.
Gertrude tells Henry Hopper, portrayed by Andrew McCarthy, that their name for their car is "Priscilla," which is a fictionalized reference to the actual name they used for their car, "Auntie," which they named for Gertrude's aunt Pauline, of who Stein was fond of saying "...who always behaved admirably in emergencies and behaved fairly well most times if she was flattered." However, "Auntie" was a Ford, while "Priscilla" on screen was a 1920s convertible of indeterminate origin, but later referred to in a letter written to Henry Ford (read aloud) as a 1912 Model T "body."
By the 21st century U.S. standards of female height (ranging from 5'3" to 5'6"), Stein (5'1") and Toklas (4'11") were quite short for women, but for their time, Stein was of average female height for a woman born prior to 1900, and Toklas was only very slightly shorter than average. In the film, they are portrayed with a very noticeable height difference, with Linda Hunt being 4'9" (per Hunt's imdb profile) and Linda Bassett being at least 5'6".
Guillaume Apollinaire was a real person, and a real life dear friend of Stein and Toklas. He was referenced by two characters in the film, the fictitious Henry Hopper, portrayed by Andrew McCarthy, who was revealed to have been badly injured by shrapnel in the Spanish Civil War, and "not expected to survive," and the character of Guillaume Apollinaire, portrayed by Jacques Boudet, who dies near the end of the film, sometime during the Spanish Civil War (July 17, 1936 - April 1, 1939). In reality, Guillaume Apollinaire was wounded by Shrapnel in 1916, during World War I, never fully recovered from his injuries, and in his weakened state, died in the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918.
In the last scene, the exchange between Stein and Toklas is a series of questions about questions and answers about answers. This is a reference to some of the last words spoken by Stein, who died at the age of 72 from stomach cancer on July 27, 1946. As Stein was being wheeled into the operating room for surgery on her stomach, she asked Toklas, "What is the answer?" Upon receiving no reply, Stein continued, "In that case, what is the question?"