Set in May of 1942 amidst the early days of World War II, "Darkest Hour" (2017) follows the controversial appointment of Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) as Prime Minister of England, and his fateful decision to ultimately battle Nazi Germany in lieu of acquiescing to the truce many urged him to accept.
It’s a brash, energetic recapitulation of one of the most dramatic points of the 20th Century—highlighted by Oldman’s absolutely mesmerizing depiction of Churchill in all of his pomp, passion and charisma. Oldman delivers the type of career-pinnacle performance (not to mention physical transformation) that often comes to define a film altogether, yet Anthony McCarten’s screenplay works well to incorporate many of the dynamic interchanges between Churchill and his key emissaries, not the least of which being King George VI (Ben Mendelsohn).
Directed by Joe Wright (“Atonement”, “Anna Karenina”), "Darkest Hour" is a dynamic depiction of leadership and heroism rarely displayed in such frank and human form. In his Academy Award-winning performance, Oldman shines brightest in his raw, unbridled impression of the legendary statesman, oozing fierce passion and unerring self-assurance every step of the way. It’s a transcendent performance and a grand, impassioned film—a high-caliber historical exposé destined to enlighten and entertain in equal measure.
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