Darkest Hour Movie Review
Joe Wright's Darkest Hour about that same patch of British history that Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk (2017) highlighted, is a far more wordy and intense portrayal of the same series of events, but with a deeper historical context
U/A: Drama, history
Director: Joe Wright
Cast: Gary Oldman, Lily James, Ronald Pickup, Kristin Scott Thomas
Joe Wright's Darkest Hour about that same patch of British history (a few days in the spring of 1940) that Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk (2017) highlighted, is a far more wordy and intense portrayal of the same series of events, but with a deeper historical context. The fate of Western Europe literally hangs on Winston Churchill (Oldman) in the early days of World War II. As the newly appointed British Prime Minister, he must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler or take the fight into enemy camp against incredible odds. Darkest Hour is about the intense dramatics during the four weeks in 1940 after his swearing in, where Churchill takes courageous decisions and leads Western Europe into a charge that literally helped change the course of world history.
Words are powerful weapons of destruction in this drama written by Anthony McCarten, so there's intellectual engagement to be had. Wright's film portrays Churchill from the viewpoints of his wife, Clemmie (Thomas), and his young secretary, Elizabeth (James). It's a sharp, intellectually stimulating and historically weighty portrayal of Churchill drawn into vigorous action with the evil Hitler's shadow looming large. Oldman's portrayal of the protagonist is extraordinary and Wright's exemplary helming makes it all the more powerful. McCarten's script, Dario Marianelli's background score, Valerio Bonelli's editing and Bruna Delbonnel's cinematography make the experience even more engaging. A wonderful blend of history, art and fiction, this film has the best credentials to take away all the major awards.