Darkest Hour (Joe Wright – 2017) A-

In 1940, over the course of less than a month, the leadership of the newly assigned PM Winston Churchill is severely tested. Should Britain negotiate with the seemingly unstoppable Hitler and his superior military as one European country falls after the other? or should the British stand up to him and prevent the fall of Europe? Churchill was not trusted by either party that much. He was seen as a mumbling alcoholic who made a lot of bad decisions. He was not the first choice of anyone as PM. Yet, he was sharp, he was stubborn and above all a great orator. It’s fascinating to think that a man who basically was protrayed as an enemy of peace by his cabinet quiet possibly changed the course of history for the better. The film I’m sure takes some liberties with the details of how Churchill did that but it is very effective watching this excellent performance by Gary Oldman and the man who stood up to his government and even king in his belief that a “peace negotiation” with a monster like Hitler will be good for no one, except Hitler. This is an excellent companion piece to Nolan’s Dunkirk, a film I want to re-visit again.

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