The Darkest Hour is one of this award season's shining lights. Gary Oldman is suited up and taking the helm as the man himself, Winston Churchill. This biopic gives us a front seat look at how Winston took the helm of Britain's prime minister during one of the darkest times in the country's history. Being slowly overrun by the Germans Britain is struggling to not fall to Hitler's war machine. With no one wanting to step up to the plate to lead the country through the crisis they nominate one of the least liked politicians who I known for his stubborn attitude. Little did they know that he was just what the country needed.
The film primarily surrounds the battle of Dunkirk where almost 400,000 British troops were pinned down with little hope of rescue on the shores of Dunkirk. After reaching out for help the new PM has the weight of the world on his shoulders with only two options, continue to fight or admit surrender and give in to peace talks with the Nazi's. Anyone who follows Chruchhill knows that surrender was not really in his vocabulary. Rallying the will of the people and with sheer determination to find another solution than to give in to the Germans manages to keep his country afloat during this trying time in world history.
The shining star of this film is, of course, Gary Oldman. He is amazing in the role of Churchill. He breathes life into the man and will easily make you forget that this is someone playing a character and not the real deal. I was so impressed with him and his acting. Huge shout out to the make-up and effects crew on this movie. It is easy to see why so much award talk has surrounded this film. Oldman has really shown that he is not to be overlooked this award season. If we take a step back, however, and look at the film, while I did enjoy the movie there were times where I felt it could have been a tad shorter. It had moments where it felt like it dragged on just a bit too long. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the movie, but by the time the credits were rolling I was ready to leave the theater. I think the editing could have possibly shaved off about 20mins of film and still given us an intense look at this man's life. I also don't feel like this film will be something everyone enjoys. if war movies aren't your thing, and I know this isn't technically one, I still feel like this movie may not be your cup of tea. If historical films are not your thing then you probably wanna keep on moving as well. However, if you are looking for a glimpse into the life of one of history's most memorable leaders then definitely stop and take notice of Darkest Hour. It is full of really intense moments and shows some of the incredibly difficult decisions people in positions of leadership are forced to make.
Overall, I scored this movie with a B+. It is engaging and entertaining but I am sure that it won't be everyone's bag. Still, the acting alone should be enough to get you into the theater to see Oldman as this iconic character.
Don't miss the Darkest Hour in theater everywhere 12/22/17.