Darkest Hour (2017)
Darkest Hour is a 2017 World War II biographical film directed by Joe Wright and written by Anthony McCarten, starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill.
Noteworthy is the fact that the film was released months after two similarly-themed World War II films that came out the same year: Dunkirk by Christopher Nolan, and Churchill (which took place shortly before the D-Day landings), which starred Brian Cox in the titular role.
May, 1940. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup) has been forced to resign, and Churchill has been chosen as his successor.
Eventually, the German war machine continues defeating the Allies in one battle after another until they, including the entirety of the British Army, gets trapped at Dunkirk. As Churchill begins drawing his evacuation plans, he is soon faced with a difficult situation: should he continue fighting on against a seemingly unstoppable enemy, or should he negotiate peace with Hitler?
Why it Rocks
- Great makeup effects created by Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, and Lucy Sibbick, which succeeded in giving Gary Oldman a great resemblance to Churchill.
- Excellent and award-winning performances, especially from Oldman.
- Good soundtrack by Dario Marianelli.
- Has a few hilarious moments, given the film's main subject.
- A great ending, where Churchill makes his "We shall fight on the beaches" speech.
- Has several glaring historical inaccuracies as well as a few anachronisms. For example, Elizabeth Layton (Lily James) didn't work as Churchill's secretary until one year after the movie's events. In addition, the London Underground scene is completely invented for the film.
The film received positive reception from critics, with a 85% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and grossed over $150 million against a $30 million budget.
The film also won many awards; Oldman's performance as Churchil earned him many Best Actor awards from the Academy Awards, Satellite Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, and the British Academy Film Awards, among others. Likewise, the makeup effects used on Oldman earned the film an Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, a Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Makeup, and a British Academy Film Award for Best Makeup and Hair.