Actor Gary Oldman plays Winston Churchill, Britain’s World War 2 Prime Minister, in the new movie called DARKEST HOUR.
And he gives a great performance in a good, old fashioned historical drama.
In popular culture, Winston Churchill is known as the iconic cigar smoking Prime Minister whose brilliant speeches inspired British citizens to fight the Nazis in World War 2.
But DARKEST HOUR offers more than the famous statesman’s leadership skills in a crisis. It also reveals his flaws: his bullying, his alcoholism, even his self doubt.
Gary Oldman’s Oscar caliber acting makes Churchill fully human.
HIs wife: I give you your father, my beloved husband. the Prime Minister!
His adult children: The Prime Minister!
Churchhill: Here’s to… not buggering it up!
Family members: Not buggering it up!
Named Prime Minister because he’s the only man the opposition party will accept, Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, is not sure he’ll be able to do the job successfully. Hitler has already overrun western Europe.
Halifax: We’re facing the annihilation of our army and imminent invasion.
King Charles the Sixth: Are you not afraid?
Churchill: Most terribly.
But Churchill is not afraid to scoff at English propriety even telling the king he won’t meet him on Mondays at four o’clock.
Churchill: I nap at four.
King: Is that permissible?
Churchill: No, but necessary. I work late.
His biggest political challenge is that the members of his War Cabinet believe it would be wise to appease Hitler.
Cabinet member: Before our forces are wiped out completely, now is the time to negotiate.
Another member: Hitler will not insist on outrageous terms.
Churchill: When will the lesson be learned? You cannot reason with a tiger when your head is in its mouth!….I take full responsibility
Churchill: Really! Yes Sir! It’s the reason I sit in this chair!
The Prime Minister’s main support comes from his loyal wife played by Kristen Scott Thomas and his long suffering secretary played by Lily James.
The astonishing make up is by Kazuhiro Tsuji. A three hour makeup job achieves the transformation.
And, of course, we have Winston Churchill himself to thank for the magnificent public speeches:
Churchill: We shall fight on the beaches; we shall fight on the landing grounds; we shall fight in the fields and in the streets; we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. For without victory there can be no survival.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now. thunter@hawaiinewsnow