Darkest Hour • Best Picture Movie Review #JPMN

Darkest Hour • Best Picture Movie Review #JPMN


Directed by Joe Wright, this 2017 British
war drama scored more than $100 million in profit above its $30 million dollar budget,
and six Oscar nominations. The two-hour and five minute movie focuses
on the newly appointed Prime Minister of England – Winston Churchill – as he deals with the
early days of World War II; with the fate of Western Europe hangs in the balance. In a long career of outstanding character
work, memorable supporting roles, and vicious villains – Gary Oldman’s turn as Churchill
during his first month in office, May of 1940 – is easily his magnus opus. Layered in prosthetic make-up and speaking
with a heavy accent, Gary is nearly unrecognizable as the war-time PM. If this role doesn’t finally score him a much-deserved
Oscar; nothing will. And while the magnificence of his talent cannot
be understated, one exemplary performance does not a good movie make. Dealing with the behind-the-scenes politics
regarding the evacuation of the British forces on Dunkirk beach; “Darkest Hour” makes for
a marvelous companion film to Christopher Nolan’s picture on the same subject, released
just months prior. Whereas “Dunkirk” dealt with the emotional
side; leaving much historical exposition out of the narrative, this film does the opposite;
giving us a rather cold and detached view of the war zone struggles. They compliment each other so well, that separately,
the movies actually feel incomplete once you’ve seen both. It’s this lack of emotional perspective that
hobbles “Darkest Hour” the most. We do see some glimpses though, like when
Churchill defends his no-surrender policy by angrily shouting; “You cannot reason with
a tiger when your head is in its mouth!” Later, an impromptu subway ride with Londoners
helps him work through his difficult decision; in an excellent scene that’s easily the films
most affecting. Besides these flashes of empathy, the entire
PG-13 rated picture is little more than a display of Oldman’s impressive acting prowess. As interesting as it is, most audience might
be better served by a documentary on the war instead. Oldman’s brilliant performance propels “Darkest
Hour” above its narrowly-focused script. It’s a COOL film. That does it for this quick excerpt – but
if you’d like to watch full episodes of “Movie Night”, and submit your own reviews to be
included on the show, please visit the Jogwheel YouTube channel. My name is Jonathan Paula, thanks for watching
and have a good Movie Night!

Only registered users can comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *