Darkest Hour (Focus Features) [Movie Review]

- Feb 19, 2018 at 10:53AM
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Rating: 9 out of 10
During one of the most harrowing eras of 20th Century, and one of the gravest times England and the Earth faced, the country fought one of the largest armies of evil the world had ever seen. That was when Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) stood before the world and helped instill in everyone the power humanity has when we all WORK TOGETHER!

Director Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement) delivers one of the most rousing bio pics through the prism of this gripping WW2 story to tell the tale of one of the most iconic world leaders in history. Darkest Hour also makes a powerful companion piece to Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk by juxtaposing the politics and planning behind WW2 with the troops on the ground.

This easily belongs among Wright's best work and is indeed a true redemption story after diving into blockbuster efforts and having it pan out in the worst way. In the Director's Guild of America podcast "The Director's Cut", Wright describes his ambition for the final cut of a film as a combination of "The participation of imagination and the persistence of vision." He delivers that in spades here. Wright fires on all cylinders by bringing audiences into a film that is epic in its scope and immerses us in a spellbinding cinematic experience.

Gary Oldman is already famous for his transcendent performance style. Whether you put him in The Dark Knight trilogy or Harry Potter or as Beethoven in Immortal Beloved, he truly disappears into his role. He doesn't act like his characters, he becomes them. He is a freak of nature (in the best way possible) that belongs in the same league as Meryl Streep, Daniel Day-Lewis and Helen Mirren.

Even so, this is a milestone performance from Oldman. He's an absolute powerhouse as Churchill and delivers an enriching performance that simply must be witnessed to be understood. It's no wonder he has already won "Best Actor" at the Golden Globes because this is a plum performance after an already storied career.

Directed by: Joe Wright
Starring: Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James, Stephen Dillane, Ronald Pickup, Ben Mendelsohn
Distributed by: Focus Features
Release Date: January 12, 2018 (United Kingdom)
Run Time: 125 minutes

Check out a Darkest Hour official movie trailer

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