Darkest Hour (2017) Film Review

I don’t know a lot about Churchill – I know of his alcoholism, his depression (famously, his black dog) and the ‘We will fight on the beaches” speech. I found it fascinating in the Darkest Hour to learn about how Churchill became Prime Minister, at a time during the war when the Nazi forces were their strongest there was a real threat of losing much of the British forces. It’s a film about politics, about personalities battling against each other and the devastation of war.

This film reminded me a lot of Lincoln in that both show that politics has never been straightforward as coming up with a good idea and following through – it is about backroom deals and double-crossing and planning against each other, and it is truly a dirty world. I loved the world around Churchill – the upstairs/downstairs and breakfast served in bed and backing out of the room with royalty, though I am hoping that this world is long gone. Though… probably not. I also was very aware that this is a dramatization and it makes me wonder what was real and what wasn’t. How much of an influence was his wife, his secretary, the King of England?

Darkest Hour was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama (Gary Oldman) and for BAFTAs for Best Leading Actor (Gary Oldman), Best Make-up/Hair, Original Music, Best Film, Best Supporting Actress (Kristin Scott Thomas), Outstanding British Film of the Year, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design and Best Production Design.

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