Skip to main content

Darkest Hour | Average Guy Movie Review


Gary Oldman brings one of Britain's most celebrated figures to life in Darkest Hour. Directed by Joe Wright (Atonement) and written by Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything), it tells the story of Winston Churchill's first four weeks as Prime Minister. At a time when we stood alone and on the brink of disaster, he would have to deal with the loss of France to the German blitzkrieg, the Dunkirk evacuation, a lack of support from those in his own party as well as King George VI (Ben Mendelsohn) and pressure to reach a peace agreement with Hitler. The man really was thrown in at the deep end! 



Gary Oldman spent a year studying Churchill and his mannerisms, in order to bring the man to life. Over that same year, he worked with special make-up effects artist, Kazuhiro Tsuji (Looper, Hellboy, The Grinch) to develop the incredible make-up and prosthetics that would transform him into the legendary PM. The prosthetics used to fatten him up weighed half Oldman's bodyweight. In fact, they had to dial back their work because he looked too much like Churchill and something was lost in Oldman's performance. And his dedication didn't end there, throughout principle photography Oldman smoked over 400 cigars at a reported cost of £18,000. The result of said dedication; by the end of filming he had nicotine poisoning.



This is a story of that plucky spirit we Brits are known for. "Keep calm and carry on". Despite our dire circumstances we carried on. Something that's beautifully depicted in a shot of civilian boats headed across the channel to aid in the evacuation of British and French forces from Dunkirk. And a scene in which Churchill consults members of the public on their thoughts about the war and what to do. The scene may be fictional but it's based on real events, according to Anthony McCarten "He would go AWOL, disappear and pop up somewhere in London with ordinary people, to find out what they were thinking."



Thanks to Gary Oldman's chameleonic abilities, Darkest Hour is more than just a look at this incredible public figure, it's a look at the man. A man who despite appearing confident and jubilant in public, was bearing the weight of war on his shoulders, staunch in his beliefs and yet troubled by indecision. Through this epic performance we see the Churchill that existed behind closed doors. Including his quirky habits; working from his bed until midday, dictating letters from the bath, having meetings while in the WC and the copious amounts of alcohol that fuelled him.


There to support him were his insightful and elegant wife Clementine (Kristen Scott Thomas) and his loyal secretary Elizabeth Layton (Lily James) - who in reality didn't join Churchill's staff until 1941. While others manoeuvred against him, including his Foreign Secretary, Viscount Halifax (Stephen Dillane), a man who believed in appeasement and making peace with Hitler. 



Darkest Hour is a masterpiece in film, a compelling story about one of the darkest periods in our country's history that would become one of our finest moments, and the man that led us to victory. Nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Make-up and Hairstyling, Darkest Hour should come away with several little gold statues named Oscar. It could be considered criminal that before 2018,  an actor like Gary Oldman had only received one Oscar nomination. Hopefully it's a wrong that'll soon be righted, for if he didn't deserve to win before, he certainly does this year!
10/10



What did you think of Darkest Hour? Let us know by leaving a comment below or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Snyder Cut | Wouldn't Be The First Time a Director Got a Second Chance

It seems that a fairly common occurrence amongst movies tied to Warner Bros. is the magical disappearing/reappearing director. Does that mean there's hope for the Snyder Cut? I certainly hope so!


Ever since Justice League hit cinemas in 2017 - possibly even before - fans have been calling for Zack Snyder's original vision to be released. Snyder famously faced issues regarding the darker tone and longer run times his movies were taking, especially after the negative response to 'Batman v Superman'. This of course led to rewrites of the superhero team-up movie, and certain plotlines established or teased in 'BvS' - including the epic Knightmare scene - being dropped. The director then left the production after the tragic death of his daughter. Joss Whedon was brought in by the studio to finish the movie, this included the completion of post production and some major reshoots, further altering the movie. All of which resulted in a movie that is drastically differen…

Dates for Phase 5 of the MCU may have been Leaked

After unveiling Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at Comic Con last month, it's believed that plans for Phase 5 will be announced at D23. But have some of the release dates may have already been leaked?



Charles Murphy (@_CharlesMurphy) - someone who is known for revealing accurate info - has tweeted possible release dates for two upcoming movies. According to Murphy (which "could be subject to change"), Black Panther 2 will arrive in cinemas on 18th February 2022, and will be followed by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on 6th May 2022. These dates are similar to the movies that preceded them, Black Panther was released on 13th February 2018 and GOTG Vol. 2 on 27th April 2017. Both movies had a lot of success in their respective slots, so it makes sense that Marvel would attempt to continue that success with future instalments. It has also been confirmed by James Gunn, that he won't be working on GOTG Vol. 3 until after he's completed production of "The …

JOJO RABBIT | Moustache Teaser Reaction

If Top Gun: Maverick is the most exciting teaser of late, then the teaser trailer for "Jojo Rabbit" has got to be the most bizarre. If you haven't seen it, check it out below:


Taika Waititi's latest movie is based on the book "Caging Skies" by Christine Leunens, and tells the story of Jojo "Rabbit" Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis). A member of the Hitler Youth, Jojo's world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic. And the only person he has to turn to as he attempts to deal with all that he's going through, is his imaginary friend...Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi).

Now I know what you're thinking; "this sounds bat shit insane!" And to be fair, you're probably right. But Jojo Rabbit looks - in true Waititi fashion - absolutely hysterical. It is definitely something you have to see to believe, and that's just the trailer. One thing fans of …