Gary Oldman is getting huge praise for his work in this film. Rightly so, as it can’t be easy to deliver any kind of a performance through the prosthetics required for his transformation into Winston Churchill. Director Joe Wright spends a lot of time with the camera very close up to Churchill’s face, and you cannot see the join.
Aside from that though, Darkest Hour is all a bit half-baked from my point of view and I left the cinema feeling somewhat underwhelmed.
I felt shades of the enormity of the political situation facing the government, but not the full terror. I saw glimpses of a fascinating woman with clearly a lot of history to tell, yet Winston’s wife Clementine was brushed to the edges leaving Kristin Scott Thomas with very little to do. In a strange yet successful piece of casting I saw an inexplicable change of heart from King George VI (by Ben Mendelsohn) which didn’t make sense. And I watched an oddly underused Lily James typing a lot.
Perhaps it fits so snugly into the Sunday evening TV period drama landscape that I found the cinematic experience lacking.