The second World War has for decades has given us stories about brave men who overcame stacked odds to prevail. While it may seem like we have heard them all, with the amount of people involved assures us that we have many more stories to tell. Of everyone involved, its the men who lead our people at their darkest hours that have had the most stories written about them. One such man was Winston Churchill, who was thrust into power with England’s back against the wall and with a changing tiger in the German army bearing down on them.
Churchill ( Gary Oldman) was made Prime Minster after the previous one had failed to do what was needed. Being the only man the other party would accept, Churchill was placed in power because he was at the time the only choice. While most in the government wanted to reach an agreement with Germany, Churchill didn’t think you could reason with a tiger with your head in its jaw. With things looking as bleak as ever, and with the whole of the British army stranded in Dunkirk, Churchill must make the right decision for his country. That though can be easier said than done, especially when you don’t have the support of your own party or your King. While their might have been little support coming from those in power, Churchill did have the support of the people, whose resilience define them. It was that support that reinforced Churchill’s own resilience and allowed him to make the decision that saved the British Empire and later the whole of Europe.
It is films like “Darkest Hour” that great actors long for as they can be magnets for the golden award that they seek. Oldman, who has been great in so many things, shines as Churchill and you can even argue may have never been better. The story doesn’t look at the whole of Churchill’s life, but instead focuses on when he came into power and the month that followed that would set the tone for Britain during World War II. Written by Anthony McCarten who tackled the life of Stephen Hawking previously, makes the right decision in narrowing the focus of Churchill’s story. While the man did a many great things, none define who he was than the first month he was in office. Watching Oldman deliver heart racing speeches which make you long for civil and great men in power. It is performances like Oldman’s that can make or break a film, and in the case of “Darkest Hour”, Oldman takes the film to heights it would not reach without him. I enjoyed this film, not only because it is well made, but because of how it made me feel. Plus if you are interested in seeing an actor at the top of his game turning out a spectacular performance, then “Darkest Hour” is the film to see.