- My Rating: 91%
Darkest Hour was the antithesis of Dunkirk. All character. All acting and story and about a man of deep character going through a transformation. After leaving the theater, having written the Dunkirk review just the day before, I had the great “if only” fantasy. If only I could take both films, mash them together, and edit the crap out of them – wow, what a movie that would be. Scenes from each would play opposite each other perfectly. Many years ago, I read a critics review of Gary Oldman. I think it was for his role in The Fifth Element. It planted an ugly seed in my head that I’ve never quite shaken. That critic said something very close to “People call him a great character actor, I call him the worst over-actor in Hollywood.” From that point on, every time I saw him in something, I questioned the role. “Is he really that transformative, or is he so wrapped up in himself that’s he’s going way over the top in this role?”. Damn that critic. The guy really does become his role, from physicality to speech to mannerisms. In Darkest Hour, he was Churchill, better than any other actor before him I think. Might he have gone to far? The mumbling, despite its careful introduction as a Churchill flaw, put me off one or two times too many. The journey through self doubt was wonderfully done. The speeches, those great collection of impassioned words I know Winston Churchill for, were delivered perfectly. They sold me on this film.