Gary Oldmans performance as Winston Churchill is the highlight of his career, and Darkest Hour is a dark and sinister drama about the first days of Churchills war cabinet.
I am quite the sucker for War films, and 2017 also gave us the cinematic art that was Dunkirk, and Darkest Hour takes place in the same period of time, It is May 1940. France is in trouble fighting Nazi Germany and Britain is on the brink of collapsing and the British government appoint Winston Churchill as the new Prime Minister. He is not liked by anyone, trusted by anyone and he drinks, a lot, but, he still manages to inspire the British to fight on.
Gary Oldman stars as Churchill, and what a job he does. The way he speaks is like hearing Churchills old speeches, and the brutality in the voice and the way he captures the character is unlike any acting performance I have seen in years. Under the heavy makeup and fatsuit there is no way to see that it is Gary Oldman playing, and as always he shows himself to be one of the worlds finest actors. Lily James plays his personal secretary and Kristin Scott Thomas plays his faithful wife Clementine. In the role of King George we find Ben Mendelsohn and the chemistry between the actors makes for a remarkable movie.
Darkest Hour is directed by Joe Wright and what a job he has done. He is a brilliant director with a strong resume with titles like Pride and Prejudice, Atonement Anna Karenina and Pan. The way everything in Darkest Hour glides together in an artistic film shows solid directing and the result is the finest film of his career.
The budget of hair and makeup in Darkest Hour must have been huge and the result can be seen in the film. Gary Oldman looks amazing. Kristin Scott Thomas looks amazing, and there may be another Oscar for best hair and makeup in the near future.
Films based on actual events are always popular, and Darkest Hour deserves all the praise it gets, it tells a great story, with great cinematography, a unique soundtrack by Joe Wrights favorite composer Dario Marianelli.
We need to address the soundtrack. Marianelli is back having done the music of pretty much ever Joe Wright film to date and it is a sinister soundtrack that manages to capture the seriousness of the drastic events that was happening.
The cinematography is done by Bruno Delbonnel. One of my favorite cinematographers. He has previously done Amelie from Montematre and Inside Llewyn Davis, he is a spectacular cameraman who manages to frame ever scene as art.
Darkest Hour is a spectacular fine film, with amazing acting, steady directing and a hair and makeup budget that looks remarkable. The Oscars are happening in a few days, and with six nominations it is sure to head home with an award or two.