In May 1940, the fate of Western Europe hangs on British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Adolf Hitler, or fight on knowing that it could mean a humiliating defeat for Britain and its empire.
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During World War II, as Adolf Hitler's powerful Wehrmacht rampages across Europe, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Neville Chamberlain, is forced to resign, recommending Winston Churchill as his replacement. But even in his early days as the country's leader, Churchill is under pressure to commence peace negotiations with the German dictator or to fight head-on the seemingly invincible Nazi regime, whatever the cost. However difficult and dangerous his decision may be, Churchill has no choice but to shine in the country's darkest hour.Written by
Adrian Smith, emeritus professor of modern history at the University of Southampton, described the film as "deeply flawed" in terms of its historical accuracy. The BBC's film critic Mark Kermode also gave it a negative review for The Film Review (2007), while acknowledging that it had "a very good cast" and Oldman's performance was worthy of an award and likely to win the Oscar for Best Actor. See more »
When on the Underground, Churchill is advised to travel to Westminster on the District Line. This is a sub-surface line that uses carriages of normal size. However, the train he gets on is of deep-level 'tube' rolling stock which are not used on the District. See more »
King George VI:
One never knows what's going to come out of your mouth next. Something that'll flatter, something that'll wound.
My e-emotions are unbridled. A wildness. In the blood. I share with my father. And my mother also. We lack the gift of temperance.
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At the end of the credits, Big Ben strikes 2 o'clock. See more »
Well worth seeing just to watch Oldman's performance.
At this point, "Darkest Hour" has an overall rating of 5.3. I do not understand this at all, but the film has not actually been released yet and has only been seen in film festivals. I assume the overall score will increase considerably--especially since the two reviews for it were quite positive.
Now I must point out that I am a retired history teacher and I consider Winston Churchill to be perhaps the greatest politician of the century. So, I clearly have a bias and predisposition towards liking the movie...especially if it's done well. Is it a crowd pleaser? Maybe not, as the average movie-goer (especially teens) might not enjoy this or care a lick about the film.
The story covers only a portion of the month of May, 1940...just before the fall of France during WWII. Prime Minster Chamberlain is about to be tossed out of office, as his appeasement strategy with Hitler has turned out to be completely stupid. In his place, some hope for Churchill to be the next Prime Minister...though some forces are working to depose him as soon as he comes to power. At the same time, the war is going as badly as it possibly can. Can Churchill survive this? Well, of course...duh, it's HISTORY!
The reasons to see this are two big ones....the film has achieved the look of 1940 beautifully and Gary Oldman provides an Oscar- winning performance in the lead. If he is not at least nominated for this top award, I will be completely shocked...and he really managed (along with ample prosthetics) to LOOK and SOUND like the great man. Great job all around...and a perfect film.
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