Title: Darkest Hour
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Joe Wright
Starring: Gary Oldman, Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas
Runtime: 2 hr 5 mins
What It Is: As Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup) is set to step down from his post a replacement is needed. Both parties agree that the choice that’s best for both sides of the aisle was Winston Churchill (Oldman). Winston, however, is a man of steely resolve with an utter disdain for Hitler and his tyrannical nature. As parliament seeks to work through a peace accord with Mein Fuhrer through Italian fascist dictator, and Hitler crony Mussolini. Churchill, however, has no plans of bending the knee to fascism. This despite the government’s pleas to the contrary.
What We Think: Gary Oldman just won the Oscar. It’s really that simple. His is a performance you get lost in. He’s not playing Churchill he IS Churchill. Kristin Scott Thomas is incredible as Mrs. Churchill. This is a good script, not great and that’s only because there’s great stuff to work with. Can’t give the screenwriter credit for history. Joe Wright does this sort of things really well so once again I can’t give him credit. Fancy British people movies are Joe Wright’s specialty. Pride and Prejudice, Atonement, Anna Karenina. Dude is just really good with the fancy Brits.
Our Grade: B+, This is a showpiece film that at its center features a fantastic performance. The film around Oldman’s performance sags a bit too much. This is a film that got plenty of love from the academy and I’m not certain it is deserved. I wouldn’t consider this a Best Picture winner…at all! I can recommend you check this out particularly if you like historical films. It’s an excellent companion piece to Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. So if you’ve saw that check out this one for sure!