Based on true events, Best Picture contender Darkest Hour stars Gary Oldman in what is considered his best role to date. Darkest Hour is one of the historical dramas and one of the war dramas nominated for Best Picture. But does it stand out from its competition? Depends on who you ask. Based on the beginning of his term as British prime minister, Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) faces his first true test. It's the early days of World War II, and the fall of France is impending. But as the Allies are cornered on the beaches of Dunkirk, and the Nazi forces are advancing, Churchill must make the ultimate decision on what is best for the country. The rest, as they say, is history. Joe Wright directed the quintessential period piece/ biopic. Everything screamed Britain -- the wardrobe, the accents, the scenery. All very dark and dreary. If you’re a history buff, this film is probably solely for you (and Oscar voters because, generally, this is Oscar bait). But backed by a few strong elements, Wright does provide an interesting story.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”-- Winston ChurchillThe cinematography of this film is brilliant and Darkest Hour is blessed by this. The use of lighting (or lack thereof) in certain scenes just strengthens them -- such a powerful storytelling tool that was utilized amazingly in this piece.
[caption id="attachment_6360" align="aligncenter" width="300"]
(photo credit: tampabaytimes.com)[/caption] But the real star of this film is Gary Oldman. This is his best role yet. Sorry, Harry Potter fans, it hurts for me to say that, too, but it's the truth. Oldman transforms himself into Churchill -- not just physically, but heart and soul. He portrays the essence of this man extraordinarily, going beyond the typical biopic role into a character study. Considering how many actors have probably portrayed Churchill, I would say that Oldman is, hands down, the best. His monologue in the last fifteen minutes was especially powerful and had me locked on the screen. And the Oscar goes to ... Darkest Hour isn’t a film for everyone. It's admittedly slow and centers on war history. But Oldman’s performance alone should be incentive to watch. It's worth it.
Have you seen it? What did you think? We'd love for you to leave your opinion in the comments below!