Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Darkest Hour (2017)

When I saw the coming attraction for Darkest Hour, it said that Gary Oldman was playing Winston Churchill.  Wait.  You mean the same guy who played Zorg in The Fifth Element?  Yes.  The same guy who played Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg is now playing Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill KG OM CH TD PCc DL FRS RA.  In case you’re wondering, there was use of makeup to make Gary Oldman look like Winston Churchill.

The movie takes place during the month of May, 1940.  It starts just a few days before he was offered the office of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. His initial instinct was to fight Germany.  This was in opposition to others, like previous Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who wanted to enter into peace negotiations.  Churchill realizes that they’re not in a strong position to negotiate, as they’re losing badly.

Part of the problem with historical dramas like this is that you know the outcome.  In the movie, Germany has yet to attack the British Isles, but the British Isles will be attacked.  After all, this is where we get Keep Calm and Carry On.  We also know that, despite Churchill’s doubts and insecurities, that he will get the United Kingdom through the war.  Thus, any threat of having him removed will fail.

The movie does have its entertainment value, though.  While Churchill is adamant in front of other people, the movie does show Churchill being uncertain of what to do in private.  He does consider peace talks, but finds his strength again after talking to several people on a train.  Even though Churchill had been a leader previously, it tales a while for him to find his strength.

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