Screening Room: ‘Darkest Hour’

In May 1940, as the German army tore through Belgium and France, instead of uniting against a mortal threat, England was having a leadership crisis. Darkest Hour tells how Winston Churchill—who, popular wisdom held, was not just a drunk and a blowhard but a terrible strategist—became Prime Minister almost by accident.

Darkest Hour opens Wednesday. My review is at PopMatters:

Most tellings of this moment would have Winston Churchill stride into the chaos like some goliath. But in Wright’s recounting, the hero of the moment galumphs on stage as an embarrassing has-been, half-anxious, half-arrogant, and filled with champagne and whiskey. With Gary Oldman well visible behind the heavy makeup and camouflage scrim of cigar smoke, it’s the kind of performance that gets called a tour de force, and for good reason…

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