Gary Oldman is like the Lon Chaney of our generation. He virtually gets so lost in a character that you believe you are watching the real deal. Simply said - Gary Oldman IS Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.
From May 8 - June 4, 1940 Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister during Britain's darkest hour...literally. With the Germans threatening to destroy Britain’s army prior to the Dunkirk evacuation, the UK was in a very dark and lonely place indeed. If that weren't bad enough, Churchill’s main opponents Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup) and Lord Halifax (Stephen Dillane) encouraged having Mussolini negotiate a deal with Hitler that might have spared Britain from invasion and potential mass slaughter. Even King George VI (Ben Mendelsohn) was agreeable to dealing with the devil (Hitler). What ensues is a cinematic history lesson of epic proportions.
Director Joe Wright introduces us to a Winston Churchill who is more sensitive. A family man, whose devoted to his wife, kids and takes to the Underground to speak one-on-one with the good people of Britain. Yet, he's a walking contradiction, taking baths and walking naked while his trusted assistant works her like an indentured servant.
Darkest Hour features a lot of speeches by Churchill and runs about 30 minutes too long, but if you want to see an actor at the top of his game...you won't want to miss Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill.