A time during Man’s Darkest Hour. The days of Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman – The Hitman’s Bodyguard, The Space Between Us) in line to becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, replacing Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup).
With much pressure asserted on him by Parliament, Churchill must at this pivotal point, tackle a defining moment, that of exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing fast as a nation, fighting tyranny and Nazi ideals, seeking liberty and freedom for the nation.
Yes, as Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, Churchill is faces many personal challenges, from opposition within the ranks, and the dynamic relationship with his wife, Clemmie (Kristin Scott Thomas). He must deal with an unprepared public, a sceptical King George Vi (Ben Mendelsohn – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), a new assistant Elizabeth Layton (Lilly James – Baby Driver, Cinderella) starting her first day, and he himself must make decisions upon which the course of history rests, and the free world.
Darkest Hour is a retelling of events, and not a re-imagining, or skewed interpretation. Sure, there are some dramatic, and one might think political, liberties taken, but the story remains true to history, unlike other films about the man in recent times, such as Churchill. Or, if one wishes to see some parallel story, about film and propaganda, then perhaps Their Finest.
The film is character driven, sticking to the drama, avoiding the action, although one might wish to follow a viewing of Darkest Hour by one of Dunkirk, with events of this film merely touched on from the perspective of a decision made by Churchill.
With the stellar cast, the characters are well rounded, and multi-layered. Oldman’s performance as Churchill is deserving of all the recognition he is receiving in the 2018 awards season.
Darkest Hour is high on drama, and laden with history. Great acting, and locations, not to mention the way we are transported back to London of the day. A film that is both entertaining, and engrossing, full of talent. One to add to the viewing list.
Darkest Hour opens 2 February 2018, in South African cinemas.