So that’s two movies about the British during WWII. I wonder if that means something.
This movie is pretty much all about Winston Churchill. This movie is about Gary Oldman playing Winston Churchill, and boy is it a joy to watch. The film is pretty much made on Gary Oldman. To me, he was such a good actor that I forgot that I was watching Gary Oldman playing Winston Churchill.
Having said that, I can’t help but feel that the story that this film wanted to tell may not have been the best one to tell. It’s the story of Churchill’s first few months in office and I couldn’t help but feel that there wasn’t a story to tell.
The characters around him were interesting enough on their own. Stephen Dillane as Halifax plays the man who wants to sue for peace. I thought it was it was interesting to see how some people thought they should negotiate for peace. It wasn’t to save themselves but to save the lives of their soldiers and to end a possible war. They had already been at war 30 years ago and they didn’t want another one. It was very nice and refreshing to see that point of view.
All other side characters are pretty much useless. Kristin Scott Thomas as Clementine Churchill has no real role in this movie. She’s the patient wife to a hard man to live with. That’s it. Lily James as Elizabeth Layton doesn’t even qualify as having a character arc. She writes his speeches, has one heart to heart moment with Churchill and then that’s it.
Where the film shines is, not only Gary Oldman as Churchill, but also with certain scenes. Tracking shots of London on an average day portrays what Churchill is fighting for. Contrasted with aerial shots of French refugees in a war torn country shows the stakes of the film.
Darkest Hour is not a perfect film. The story seems to drag a bit towards the end and some characters don’t seem necessary to the story itself. Gary Oldman holds the film together. According to the film, this was why Churchill was necessary for the future war. The British had no where else to go.