#REVIEW: “DARKEST HOUR”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Darkest Hour showcases perhaps the greatest performance of the year delivered by Gary Oldman.
The Film follows Winston Churchill (Oldman) during his first month being Prime Minister. Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup) has been forced the resign as Prime Minister less then a year into World War Two. Churchill has been selected by his cabinet as the only viable option of leader of the party. The German forces have taken France and are closing in on the British army on the beaches of Dunkirk. With his previous government breathing down his neck he is forced to decide whether to make a peace deal with Hitler or continue fighting against him.
Oldman is Churchill. Churchill has been depicted many times before in Film and Television, but Oldman finds a way to make Churchill new, fresh and authentic. He becomes Churchill, encompassing his entire essence donning a body suit to the unique voice inflections Churchill had. Oldman leaves nothing out that made Churchill, Churchill. He has the energy, anger, humour, quirks and impatience that made Churchill loved by the world. This is the greatest depiction that has ever been done of Churchill. Oldman is surroundee by an amazing Ensemble Cast that complement him. Kristin Scott Thomas who plays Clementine Churchill has been quiet for some time now. She takes her character as the wife of a powerful man and makes her just as powerful. And then there is Lily James who gives a touching performance as Churchill’s Typist.
All those performances are enhanced by the skillful camerawork of Director Joe Wright. Wright uses light the elevate every scene and performance. Mix that with the tight Script by Anthony McCarten and you get a fierce and energetic Film that reflects who Churchill was. The Production Design by Sarah Greenwood jolts the audience into 1940s London. And the Makeup by Kazuhiro Tsuji is meticulously-detailed that it becomes hard to distinguish where Oldman ends and Churchill begins.
Overall, Darkest Hour is a powerful and energetic Film that mirrors Churchill himself. And don’t bet against Oldman bringing home all the golden statues this awards season.
Universal Pictures Canada release DARKEST HOUR onFriday, December 8, 2017.