Darkest Hour is the latest film to join the rank of critically acclaimed World War II films such as Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, The Pianist, and most recently, Dunkirk.
Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Anthony McCarten
Release Date: 19 January 2018
Darkest Hour isn't like most war films. Rather than focusing on the actual war, Darkest Hour centers on one of the most historically significant politicians of the time, Winston Churchill. Instead of showing the full duration of the war period, Darkest Hour goes from Churchill's appointment as the Prime Minister to the evacuation of Dunkirk over just one month.
The role of Winston Churchill has always been a challenging one as it takes significant acting skills to bring to life the role of the man who managed to rally a whole nation behind him in the time of crisis. Gary Oldman has dedicated his all to this role – undergoing over 200 hours of make-up to resemble the aging politician as closely as possible. Oldman even called this "a benchmark in prosthetic make-up". The attention to detail is even down to the particular brand of cigar. Oldman smoked 12 cigars a day, costing around 30,000 dollars during the whole production, to the point that he even got nicotine poisoning. His hard work has already paid off as he's won the Golden Globe for the Best Actor in Motion Picture – Drama and is a strong contender for receiving an Academy Award as well.
While Gary Oldman holds the spotlight in the film, the supporting cast is equally talented. Kristin Scott Thomas, who plays Churchill's wife, Clemmie, is an Oscar-nominated actress known for The English Patient. Ben Mendelsohn, who appeared in Rogue One, will be playing King George VI. Also in the film is Lily James, who most recently appeared in Baby Driver, which released last year.
The director, Joe Wright is known for his direction of Pride and Prejudice, Atonement, and more recently, an episode of Black Mirror. The screenplay is written by Anthony McCarten who has also written the screenplay for The Theory of Everything, another film that focused on the real life of another historical man.
Darkest Hour has already released in several countries and has received praise from international critics, with Dan Jolin from Empire stating that Oldman has given "the performance of a lifetime".