Churchill would like his soul back.
(It’s award consideration season and I’m playing catch-up. As I tear through them, I thought I’d try mini-reviews. Enjoy!)
Darkest Hour is best described as the deleted scenes from Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. It’s the Deep Impact to Armageddon, but not moronic. Darkest Hour takes place during the couple of months from when Neville Chamberlain was forced to resign as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to the British Army’s evacuation from Dunkirk (basically, spring of 1940). It focuses on the politics behind the appointment of Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) as PM and the clashing of ideas between Churchill, Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup), and Viscount Halifax (Stephen Dillane) with regards to confronting Hitler and the war.
If you have ever wanted a glimpse at what Churchill may have been like, I’m pretty sure Oldman conjured the ghost of Churchill so Churchill could possess Oldman, in order to portray the most accurate version of Churchill possible. My wife walked into the room mid-movie and her reaction was “that’s Gary Oldman?!“ While Darkest Hour isn’t nearly as compelling as Dunkirk, it will still have you on the edge of your seat wondering if Churchill will make it three months before the King (Ben Mendelsohn) sacks him. Darkest Hour is also a great example of a movie seemingly designed for its main actor to win an Oscar and Oldman definitely makes his case. If you love historical, political biopics like Lincoln, you will love Darkest Hour.
Rating: Don’t ask for any money back, but do ask for Oldman to end the seance.