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Westside Steve

Darkest Hour review

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Darkest Hour
Focus
PG13                      125 min


Like last year’s DUNKIRK, DARKEST HOUR is a rarity among World War II films, at least the ones that get the most attention in American theaters. We Yanks  are more accustomed to sprawling noisy battles rife with bloodshed and explosions when the Americans eventually come to save the day. The Europeans see the Second World War from their own perspective. This one examines not only the behind-the-scenes politics around the time of Dunkirk but centers on one of the Worlds bigger than life characters the irascible Winston Churchill. As World War dragged on and Western Europe found itself in peril of being overrun by Hitler’s forces the people of England had become at first suspicious and them outright hostile to the appeasement policies of Neville Chamberlain. Due to the Parliamentary nature of British government it became almost impossible to agree on a candidate for the new prime minister. Churchill seem to be one man who was if not despised by all at least more acceptable to each side than a member of the other side. A consensus pick if you will. As we know Churchill’s claim to fame was his personality and his ability to bond with a common subject. Huge decisions needed to be made, first the idea to have civilian boats rescue the troops at Dunkirk and we know how that worked. Also there was a faction who agreed with Chamberlain that Great Britain should actually work a deal using the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini as a go-between, but many people trusted Mussolini as much as Pete Clemenza trusted Barzini.  When it all came down that decision fell squarely in the lap of prime minister Churchill. This film is not so much a war movie but I look at the personality of one of the world’s most famous figures. Gary Oldman is on screen almost the entire film and while makeup has a role to play it’s his incredible talent that makes this one of the greatest performances of the decade. It’s not my favorite film of the year but it is an impressive feat and the acting is second to none.
A-
WSS
 

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On 1/6/2018 at 12:48 PM, Westside Steve said:

Darkest Hour
Focus
PG13                      125 min


Like last year’s DUNKIRK, DARKEST HOUR is a rarity among World War II films, at least the ones that get the most attention in American theaters. We Yanks  are more accustomed to sprawling noisy battles rife with bloodshed and explosions when the Americans eventually come to save the day. The Europeans see the Second World War from their own perspective. This one examines not only the behind-the-scenes politics around the time of Dunkirk but centers on one of the Worlds bigger than life characters the irascible Winston Churchill. As World War dragged on and Western Europe found itself in peril of being overrun by Hitler’s forces the people of England had become at first suspicious and them outright hostile to the appeasement policies of Neville Chamberlain. Due to the Parliamentary nature of British government it became almost impossible to agree on a candidate for the new prime minister. Churchill seem to be one man who was if not despised by all at least more acceptable to each side than a member of the other side. A consensus pick if you will. As we know Churchill’s claim to fame was his personality and his ability to bond with a common subject. Huge decisions needed to be made, first the idea to have civilian boats rescue the troops at Dunkirk and we know how that worked. Also there was a faction who agreed with Chamberlain that Great Britain should actually work a deal using the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini as a go-between, but many people trusted Mussolini as much as Pete Clemenza trusted Barzini.  When it all came down that decision fell squarely in the lap of prime minister Churchill. This film is not so much a war movie but I look at the personality of one of the world’s most famous figures. Gary Oldman is on screen almost the entire film and while makeup has a role to play it’s his incredible talent that makes this one of the greatest performances of the decade. It’s not my favorite film of the year but it is an impressive feat and the acting is second to none.
A-
WSS
 

My wife and I saw this before the Golden Globe Awards and we both came out with the same impression. We just watched an actor pull off the Oscar for best actor on par with Ben Kingsley's role as Gandhi. A phenomenal performance with all the nuances of occasional doubt, fear, conviction and pure stubbornness of the English will to survive all odds against them. Oldman, you magnificent bastard. You read his books!!:D  A+ for the actor alone.

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