Darkest Hour tells the story of Winston Churchill in 1940 as he tries to gain support within Westminster for a firm stand against Hitler and the Nazis.
Gary Oldman is outstanding as Churchill, and has the benefit of a great cast around him, particularly Kristen Scott Thomas.
Set against the backdrop of the collapse of the BEF and the subsequent retreat to Dunkirk, there is a real sense of the fragility of Britain’s position in those dark days, and how we came so very close to invasion and defeat.
The film does have its weaknesses, although only a few. There is a cringe-worthy moment where Churchill takes the Tube, and equally cringe-worthy suggestion that the Churchills were going broke in 1940. When Clementine exclaimed that they will be unable to pay their bills, Winston suggests he will cut down to one cigar a day. This doesn’t exactly paint the picture of a man of the people.
Born in Blenheim Palace, Winston bought the Chartwell estate in 1922, where he lived until his death. Chartwell was sold to the National Trust in 1946, with Churchill retaining a life tenancy.
This is a fantastic film, one that I greatly enjoyed even with the reservations above. I give it 8.5/10.