Darkest Hour Could Have Just Been Called ‘All of the Oscars’

Here’s the thing. The world did not need a movie about Winston Churchill staring Gary Oldman. I know this. However, I love Joe Wright’s films (seriously, I’ve seen Atonement and Pride and Prejudice more times than any sane human would claim) and Darkest Hour is a Joe Wright film.

In the days leading up to the evacuation of Dunkirk, the British government was something of a mess. Winston Churchill was brought in to fill the position of Prime Minister after his fellow party member, Neville Chamberlain resigned following a vote of no confidence. Unpopular in his own party, Churchill was an outlier and somewhat of a loose canon in Parliament.

Darkest Hour focuses on Churchill’s first days as Prime Minister and the decisions he faced as the threat of German victory loomed over all of Europe. WWII had barely just begun, and it seemed that it would be a short war.

This film does a few things that it does not need to do. Chiefly, it mounts Churchill on the pedestal that he’s already occupied since the 1940’s. Churchill is already a huge historical figure and Wright is not shy about reiterating that fact.

Like I said in the beginning, the world did not need a movie about Winston Churchill. However, I am so glad this one exists. Every inch of the film is a visual delight and the acting is immaculate. Thanks is large part to some hefty prosthetics, Gary Oldman disappears into Churchill, and he is bookended by two stand out performances by Kristin Scott Thomas (Churchill’s wife, Clementine Churchill) and Lily James (Churchill’s secretary, Elizabeth Layton).

Wright has a gift when it comes to pulling you into history. He makes you nostalgic for a time you never knew. And, remarkably, he makes this very important and large moment in history feel intimate. Now, don’t get me wrong there is some definite fictionalizing happening in this film, but it’s easy to forgive when the outcome captures the essence of this snapshot in history.

 

Is Darkest Hour Worth Spending The Price of a Ticket?

Yes

 

Tipsy Recommendation:

Definitely go see this film. While it mostly keeps Churchill on a higher-than-necessary pedestal, it is a great film.

Darkest Hour Trailer

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