Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

Darkest Hour

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In May 1940, the fate of Western Europe hangs on British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Adolf Hitler, or fight on knowing that it could mean a humiliating defeat for Britain and its empire.

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Cast

Gary Oldman – Winston Churchill

Kristin Scott Thomas – Clementine Churchill

Ben Mendelsohn – King George VI

Lily James – Elizabeth Layton

Ronald Pickup – Neville Chamberlain

Stephen Dillane – Edward Wood, 3rd Viscount Halifax

Samuel West – Anthony Eden

David Schofield – Clement Attlee

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Power Hour

That was absolutely fucking incredible. I have to date, not seen a portrayal of Winston Churchill so authentic. Oldman is not transformed, but literally becomes the infamous British Prime Minister from the 1940’s with a display so convincing you’d feel as though you had been sucked into a time vortex and landed in the actual era. He is just superb, and this review will be very short as I cannot elaborate on a depiction so pukka as this one. One which knocks Brian Cox’s Churchill (2017) out of the park with such force that it lands in a different city. This is genuinely the best performance I have seen of Churchill, everything is spot-on: Oldman’s perfect wobbly British voice is him. His facial expressions are him. The staggering walk and quirky humour – are both him. The actor is virtually faultless in this movie. But as I sat there watching, I did have a slight niggle:

Why has there been two movies released based on the life of Sir Winston Churchill within just a few months of each other?

This one:

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and this one:

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Not that I’m complaining about the secondary, but in general – why make two movies about the same man in a short timeframe? What is the point of this? If the directors were running for competition they needn’t have bothered – this portrayal wins hands down. Darkest Hour plunges the viewer into history and transports you back to the 1940’s with authentic set and scenery, elaborate costume and painstaking attention to detail when playing out scenes involving the Cabinet War Rooms. The movie uses a good strong cast to support Oldman too; various characters dashing up and down corridoors and holding crucial meetings in the Map room as well as the important plotting of the army’s next move. It certainly captures the essence of World War II with a realistic feel.

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Another element of this movie which heightens entertainment value is its scene progression. Darkest Hour doesn’t get lost in elaboration on the events of World War II. On the contrary, its scenes are punchy and brief. Not too long like some other films of this genre, and it also avoids dragged-out dreary shit by focusing a lot on Churchill’s sense of humour and robust spirit. With these qualities in the mix Darkest Hour makes for enjoyable viewing in almost bite-size pieces, you shouldn’t be too bored. Although some viewers may switch off..

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Sour Hour

This movie may present you with one of the world’s most genuine portrayals of Sir Winston Churchill, but some of the action can be rather light at times. Dialogue between certain characters seems to waffle into oblivion, end up boring. It’s a movie about World War II though, so do expect more sombre moments during scenes of war and conversation between Churchill and his peers. Thankfully this movie is saved by its swift scene transition and moments of true endearment (an example being Churchill boarding the London Underground so he can have a chance to speak to the general public, get their view on current affairs – it’s a very sweet scene).
So yes, some may find it dull at times but overall it wins hands down on the points I’ve mentioned.

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Give Darkest Hour a go, especially if you’re one for a bit of history. It moves at a great pace, includes a great cast, and contains some very funny moments. It’s written well too which helps. But Oldman – by god – is pure genius. He is Winston Churchill, it’s just superb. 

 

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This entry was posted on June 27, 2018 by .
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