Sunday, December 31, 2017

Darkest Hour - Movie Review

The Movie: Darkest Hour

The Director: Joe Wright

The Cast: Gary Oldman, Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Mendelsohn, Ronald Pickup, Stephen Dillane

The Story: 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.

The Review:
This movie is a very interesting look into the inner workings of a system and a man who would change the course of history as war was beginning to take over the world. The name Winston Churchill is one everyone has heard and has at least had a passing knowledge of his involvement in World War II although I don't believe any film has gone so far in depth into his personal life before this one. In some ways, it reminded me of The King's Speech although it absolutely stands on its own as a gripping and heroic drama mostly thanks to a standout performance from Gary Oldman.

Oldman has been getting all the awards buzz ever since the movie started playing film festivals earlier this year and I have no doubt he will be taking home some hardware before it's all said and done. In a very storied and diverse career, this could be one of the best efforts he has ever given. Kristin Scott Thomas plays Churchill's wife Clemmie and she is about as fantastic as she always is even though her character is far down the list of supporting roles. Another highlight would be Lily James as Elizabeth Layton, Churchill's secretary, who has to successfully navigate the eccentricities of a stubborn old man as he attempts to save England and potentially the entire free world.

The Verdict:
Darkest Hour is a very solid effort that is worth the price of admission just to see Gary Oldman do his thing. The story is as informative as it is entertaining and would pair up nicely with Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk as it covers very similar ground but from a completely different perspective.

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