Posts Tagged ‘Joe Armstrong’

Victory at Any Cost

Darkest Hour

Director: Joe Wright

Cast: Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James, Ben Mendelsohn, Stephen Dillane, Ronald Pickup, Samuel West, David Schofield, Joe Armstrong, David Strathairn

Oscar nominee Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) gives an Oscar worthy performance in his nuanced portrayal of cantankerous British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill whose face is completely transformed to look like Churchill thanks to the superb makeup and prosthetic by Kazuhiro Tsuji.

Acclaimed director of Atonement Joe Wright is the perfect candidate to steer this compelling political war drama Darkest Hour as the story meticulously tracks the events from Churchill’s inauguration as prime minister, including a particularly refined scene between the PM and King George VI wonderfully played by Ben Mendelsohn to the anxious events leading up to the ingenuous evacuation of British troops from the beaches at Dunkirk, successfully anticipated and engineered by Churchill himself and the British sea going public.

If Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Dunkirk is a stunning depiction of that crucial maritime military evacuation, then Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour is the companion film showing the political and administrative events which lead to that escape from the invading Nazi forces which were aggressively sweeping across the European continent in May 1940.

The fact that both Dunkirk and Darkest Hour are vying for Best Picture at the 90th Oscars is a testament to how exceptional both films are made. Joe Wright should have got an Oscar nomination for Best Director.

At the heart of Darkest Hour is Gary Oldman’s finest onscreen performance, a superb acting tour-de-force in which he completely embodies every aspect of Winston Churchill from his unconventional drinking habits to his affectionate if often tumultuous relationship with his level headed wife Clementine superbly played by Oscar nominee Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient).

Oldman’s performance rarely falters and actually improves as Darkest Hour progresses, a performance with such gusto and insight that all audiences will see is Winston Churchill, a seasoned politician, a risk taker and a man who had the entire fate of the British nation in his sometimes shaky hands, yet who realized the gravity of the approaching invasion of the Germans at the beginning of World War II.

Churchill’s doubt about whether the British must fight Hitler to the bitter end or sue for an untrustworthy peace is conveyed in an extremely relevant scene between him and the king who politely suggests that perhaps as prime minister, Churchill should seek advice from the British public, encapsulated in a jingoistic scene whereby he discusses the grave decision with commuters on the London underground before stepping off at Westminster.

Aided by theatrical costumes by Oscar winner Jacqueline Durran (Anna Karenina) and a sumptuous production design, Darkest Hour is an epic film made all the more riveting by a staggering performance by Gary Oldman who must surely get the long awaited recognition he deserves for his limitless acting talent and his pivotal contribution to world cinema.

Darkest Hour gets a Film rating: 9.5 out of 10 and is highly recommended for viewers that love historical biographies such as The King’s Speech and The Iron Lady.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
May 2018
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  
  • ‘Saturday Night Live’ Finale: Tina Fey Reprises Sarah Palin Role (Watch)
    Tina Fey hosted the May 19 season finale of “Saturday Night Live” and reprised her role as Sarah Palin in a sketch about the ghosts of the White House’s past. “I was the first female on a Republican presidential ticket and now I tweet for Bass Pro Shops,” she said. “Take it from me, politics […]
    Danielle Turchiano
  • ‘Saturday Night Live’ Parodies the Royal Wedding Reception (Watch)
    Just hours after Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex married Meghan Markle, “Saturday Night Live’ put its own spin on the royal wedding on its May 19 season finale. Offering an “exclusive” look inside the reception, Mikey Day’s Prince Harry took his wedding videographer –and the audience by extension — around the party, introducing family members […]
    Danielle Turchiano
  • ‘SNL’ Finale: Tina Fey Takes Questions From Jerry Seinfeld, Benedict Cumberbatch, Donald Glover
    Tina Fey hosted the May 19 season finale of “Saturday Night Live” and she brought with her some of her famous friends. For her opening monologue, the former “SNL” writer and actor said she was told she was allowed to do anything because it was her birthday yesterday, and what she wanted to do was […]
    Danielle Turchiano
  • ‘Saturday Night Live’: Alec Baldwin Returns For Season Finale ‘Sopranos’ Parody (Watch)
    Alec Baldwin was back on “Saturday Night Live” May 19 for the NBC comedy’s 43rd season finale in a cold open sketch that had him meeting his friends and foes — including Kate McKinnon’s Rudy Giuliani, Ben Stiller’s Michael Cohen and Robert De Niro’s Robert Mueller — in a diner. It was a chance for […]
    Danielle Turchiano
  • Shawn Mendes Crashes Taylor Swift’s Rose Bowl Concert With Surprise Performance
    On her last tour three years ago, Taylor Swift brought out a different celebrity guest duet partner every night, usually one with local ties. That idea doesn’t seem to be getting a revival with her current “Reputation” stadium tour, partly because Swift is reluctant to repeat herself, probably, and partly because she already has two […]
    chrislwillman