Darkest Hour

Although this film, and specifically Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, have received a lot of praise I personally haven’t been that bothered about seeing as I was worried that I wouldn’t like it. Although I find historical movies interesting there was something about this film that was off for me but I couldn’t pin it down until I actually watched it; as I decided to do this week. Despite my reservations it has been generally well received so far and Gary Oldman has been tipped by many to win the Oscar for best actor in a leading role (and after his win at the Golden Globes it is thought few could stop him.)

Darkest Hour trailer

Synopsis- This film follows the brief time period from Neville Chamberlain stepping down as Prime Minister, to Winston Churchill being instated and finally covers the events at Dunkirk. It is a biographical account, in the film medium, of Churchill’s decisions over the course of May 1940.

Positives- From my limited knowledge of the time and Winston Churchill as a personality I felt the film was very true to its source material and although of course some license will have been taken to engage the audience with specific pieces of dialogue I thought this was good overall. The film did a great job of building character across the board. For every character we spent time with we would see a dramatic change within them from the start to the end. I felt Lily James’ performance as Elizabeth Layton (the woman on the typewriter,) was fantastic and the way she conveyed juxtaposing emotions such as anger and empowerment in such unison was fantastic. My favourite scene of the whole film is the train scene which I found really quite hilarious. Finally Gary Oldman as Churchill deserves all the credit he is due as it is a quite mesmerising performance.

Negatives- Despite all this good stuff there is one key thing I didn’t like about the film. I felt that, and this is most likely what I was worried about, it was very boring. With no key turning point in the narrative the whole film felt like a long build up to something that was never going to happen. In this sense I felt it would be better suited to the TV as at some points I nearly fell asleep and even in the most rubbish of films I have never been close to this before.

Conclusion- It had very good individual things that worked for large portions of the film but at other points this film was deadly boring.

My rating- 6.5/10

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