Went and saw Darkest Hour to kick off Oscar Catchup Season. It’s a solid historical drama. Director Joe Wright wisely foregoes excessive stylistic flair (with a few exceptions) in order to instead emphasize the outstanding performances. It’s no revelation that Gary Oldman is a phenomenal actor, but his complex portrayal of Winston Churchill (the subject of countless caricatures) deserves particular praise for capturing both the fervor of his public persona and the insecurities of his most private moments.
That said, it’s rather fortunate that Dunkirk was also released in 2017; Christopher Nolan’s immersive depiction of the horrors that those stranded soldiers experienced on that beach helped me to better comprehend the gravity of the stakes as Churchill clashed with his indecisive War Cabinet. My friend commented that it would be interesting to see both films edited into a single four-hour epic. I couldn’t agree more—heck, throw in Their Finest and make it a miniseries!
[Originally written January 27, 2018.]