96 hours before the World War II invasion of Normandy, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Brian Cox – ) is being increasingly pushed aside by the other world leaders, and the allies. He has severe reservations about Operation Overlord, and fears for the many young lives that will be lost.
Churchill explores the many obstacles that great leader was to overcome, yet it by no means depicts a man who is seen as the greatest Briton of all time, in any positive light. Churchill himself is portrayed as an old oaf, drinking too much whiskey, and at loggerheads with many, including his wife Clemmie (Miranda Richardson), Dwight Eisenhower (John Slattery – Ant Man), and General Montgomery (Julian Wadham). South Africa’s own Jan Smuts (Richard Durden) seems to have old Winston’s back, acting as a go-between and helping keep the peace.
The filmmakers make no mention of where they got their material for this story, and for the most part it does not follow any other account of the man. A slow, meandering look at a man that is misrepresented, as some of the most poignant events of history play out in the background. Perhaps one to skip, unless you are in the mood for some study of acting.
Overall, the disc is of a decent technical quality, with an engrossing main feature, though lacking in any bonus material.
Churchill is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.
Video is encoded at a high average bitrate. There are no visible artefacts on screen, nor any perceivable colour bleed, save for the bottom of frame, when viewed on a large, high resolution screen. The film is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Darker scenes maintain their detail.
Viewers with the relevant hardware or software could scale up to a larger, or higher resolution screen, should they wish.
Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate, and presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. There is a secondary, downmix soundtrack presented in Dolby Digital 2.1
Dialogue is clear via the centre speaker, with the weight of the soundtrack carried via the front channels. Little use is made of the surround channels, but given the dramatic, dialogue centric nature of the film, and its settings, this does not come as much of a surprise.
The main menu on the disc is simple, and easy to follow, with text links to play the main feature, or access the scenes sub-menu. The main menu has a static background, and no accompanying music.
The scenes sub-menus each contain four small, motion, colour thumbnails, for a total of twelve chapters. While these are numbered, they are not labelled, and so and amount of guesswork would be required in order to navigate to a particular part of the main film.
There are no bonus features on the disc, except for trailers for The Lost City of Z, Krotoa, and Home Again. These autoplay at the beginning of the disc. While these can be individually fast-forward, or skipped, they can not be accessed again via the disc menu.