During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds.
Director: Joe Wright
Rated PG-13 for some thematic material
Runtime: 2 hr. 5 min.
Genres: Biography, Drama, History
Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour is a perfectly solid historical drama that’s buoyed by an impressive turn by Gary Oldman. Wright’s movie hits most of the basic points of interest as he covers roughly a month of Winston Churchill’s life as he ascends to the role of Prime Minster as Hilter’s forces close in on
. As such, it makes for an
interesting companion pieces to Christopher Nolan’s Britain . While that
film dealt the soldier’s point of view this film is far more concerned with the
political landscape that Churchill was dealing with as he took office. It’s catnip for history buffs even though
everyone knows how it ends. Still, it’s
a fascinating situation to examine considering how badly the odds where stacked
against the Dunkirk . Wright does a solid job of
providing a glossy accounting of darken close quarter rooms where major
decisions were being made in the face of impending doom. The film, though, wouldn’t work nearly as
well if it wasn’t for a stellar turn by the film’s star Gary Oldman who
disappears into make up and character. This
isn’t the first time Oldman has lost himself into characters behind make up,
most memorably in Dracula and an underrated and nearly forgotten turn in the
Silence of the Lamb sequel UK . This film is clearly Oldman’s showcase, so much
so that some of sequences might as well have the words “For your Consideration”
emblazoned along the bottom of the screen.
Thankfully Oldman doesn’t disappoint as he delivers one of the best
performances of his career in a long while.
He’s had better roles in the past but this type of biopic seems ready
made for award season. Hannibal