Review: Darkest Hour delivers a spine-tinglingly great climax

Where Dunkirk so brilliantly focused on the beaches, Darkest Hour spends it's time in the corridors of power, just as Winston Churchill rises to the top job - a veritable poisoned chalice.

Golden Globe-nominated Joe Wright directs, delivering a script penned by Kiwi Anthony McCarten and with the inspired casting of Gary Oldman as Churchill.

Oldman will chase that elusive Oscar once again and he so richly deserves it - his performance is masterful in the extreme.

Of course, he doesn't accomplish this alone, with two incredibly important people in support. 

Any actor who has the privilege of sharing the screen with Kristin Scott Thomas must thank their lucky stars for each and every moment; here as Churchill's wife Clementine she is sublime, the only complaint being we simply just don't get enough of her.

Oldman's second co-conspirator's work is so accomplished he warranted a very specific mention in the credits; Kazuhiro Tsuji.

Twice Oscar-nominated for his make-up and prosthetics, he must surely be in to win one this time. It's one thing to embody the character of such a famous man, quite another to be magically transformed into him.  And make no mistake, Oldmam is entirely transformed.

Darkest Hour (2017).
Photo credit: Working Title Films

We enter this fray as Neville Chamberlain is losing the confidence of the nation and of Parliament as Prime Minister, his party is facing the onerous task of finding someone to lead them into war.

Churchill is summoned to Buckingham Palace and rather begrudgingly given his dream job; Prime Minister of Britain.

The Churchill story is of course phenomenally well-documented; his iconic speeches quite rightfully historical legend. And Oldman does not disappoint on that front, or indeed any other front.

The ultimate delivery and obvious climax of this film is spine-tinglingly great and goosebump-inducing, regardless of how many times you think you've heard it.

While overall this story in a way didn't quite take flight - certainly not in the way Dunkirk did - it will tick many boxes, particularly for those of you who welcome all and any opportunity to explore the real events that form the backbone of global history as we know it.

Four stars.


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