World War II is probably the most common period of time used in historical films. This period of time lends itself to so many great stories, following both the soldiers as well as the climate back home. Darkest Hour follows the first few weeks of Winston Churchill’s (Gary Oldman) tenure as wartime Prime Minister. The film offers a very flawed portrayal of Churchill, which might be the most human he has ever appeared. Within days after being chosen as the Prime Minister, Churchill faces opposition within his own party by members who think that he is acting irrationally. The film also addresses the exodus of Dunkirk, and shows how much was sacrificed to ensure the long-term survival of the British army. But the plot comes second to the acting prowess of Oldman, who gives the performance of his career and earns him some of the highest praise he’s ever received.
Surprisingly fresh take in a sea of WWII biopics, this one gains momentum as it goes.
For Gary Oldman’s performance alone, this film deserves high marks, and so I award it…
4 out of 5