The true story of Winston Churchill's first month as England's Prime
Minister, in which he had to lead the nation in the early days of WWII.
Darkest Hour (2017)
Directed by Joe Wright
Written by Anthony McCarten
Starring Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James,
Stephen Dillane, Ben Mendelsohn, Ronald Pickup
Oscar Wins - Best Actor (Gary Oldman), Best Makeup
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Cinematography,
Best Costume Design, Best Production Design
In the 1940's, Europe was quickly being conquered by Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime. As Poland, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, and eventually France fell to the Germans, the fate of the United Kingdom looked bleak and fraught with horror. With the forced resignation of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in 1940, Parliament quickly elected a replacement who could unite both parties and act as England's face during wartime. Thus, Winston Churchill entered the history books as Chamberlain's successor and one of the most inspirational leaders of all time. Darkest Hour tells the story of Churchill's first month in office, where he was met with opposition on all sides and stood by his convictions even when nobody else would.
Gary Oldman portrays Churchill in what is arguably the defining performance of his career. Oldman has always been one of my favorite actors, and the way he disappears into the role is absolutely mesmerizing. He dominates the entire film and delivers a humanizing yet gruff and larger-than-life portrayal of a man who is widely considered to be the U.K.'s greatest leader even to this day. Though the supporting cast was stellar alongside him, it was Gary Oldman who truly stood out from beginning to end, particularly during Churchill's speeches. He perfectly captures the man's wit, as well as his mannerisms. It will be a surprise to me if Oldman doesn't finally earn an Oscar for this one.
Darkest Hour shows its audience just how vulnerable England had become with the loss of its military at Dunkirk, and how without Churchill's leadership and unwillingness to compromise, they may very well have fallen to the Nazis. Winston Churchill is a celebrated historical figure because he refused to give in to evil when it threatened to knock down his nation's front door. This film beautifully encapsulates the feeling of imminent destruction and isolation that England felt at the beginning of the war, and it will no doubt go on to become a modern day historical classic.