You might expect a movie about Winston Churchill, directed by Joe Wright (who also helmed the worthy, slow-burn Oscar-winner Atonement), to be an ambling, deeply serious drama with a capital D. Instead, Darkest Hour is a peppy, surprisingly enjoyable dramatisation of the events of May 1940, as Gary Oldman’s newbie Prime Minister tries to decide how to deal with Adolf Hitler, while facing the almost impossible task of evacuating Britain’s armed forces at Dunkirk.
As a historical document it’s utterly compelling: you can’t help but cheer on Churchill as he battles fellow politicians who’d rather surrender to Hitler and Mussolini than fight them on the beaches. Oldman’s jowly prosthetics are incredible, as is his performance – although the whole thing is almost derailed by a cringe-worthy scene on a Tube carriage in which Winston has a little chinwag with ‘ordinary’ Londoners. That stumble aside, Darkest Hour is a pleasing, absorbing chronicle of a fascinating time in British history.
The home entertainment release adds:
- Feature commentary – With Director Joe Wright.
- Into Darkest Hour – A comprehensive overview of making this epic wartime drama, including how they maintained authenticity when depicting 1940’s London.
- Gary Oldman: Becoming Churchill – Filmmakers, cast, and crew marvel at Oldman’s layered,
transformative performance, as Oldman himself weighs in on the challenges of portraying a man as
iconic and complicated as Winston Churchill.
Release: 21st May (Digital), 4 June 2018 (DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD)
From: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Format: Digital, DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD
Age Rating: PG