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Gary Oldman Shines in Darkest Hour

The biopic, Darkest Hour (directed by Joe Wright), follows Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) through his early days as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. As the film begins, “Peace for our time” Neville Chamberlain’s (Ronald Pickup) disastrous policies have come home to roost, Hitler is threatening all of Europe, and Chamberlain is forced to resign as Prime Minister. Unpopular among his own party but considered acceptable to the Opposition, Churchill is summoned by King George VI (Ben Mendelsohn) to become the new Prime Minister.

Darkest Hour is primarily a character study of Churchill, and Oldman clearly relishes the role and fully immerses himself in it. He gives the audience an admittedly flawed Churchill, hopelessly politically incorrect by current standards, who nevertheless possesses a passionate loyalty to the British Empire and an unbreakable determination to see the British people through what seemed an almost hopeless situation at that stage of the war.

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