The Darkest Hour

The last day of the year was spent like January 1, 2017: in a movie theater. This time the topic was Winston Churchill’s early days as Prime Minister of Great Britain, a most worthy subject.

Mr. Churchill is quite a character who overcame much and showed leadership at a critical time despite lapses of cooperation and strong opposition (not just from Hitler). Those aspects are captured without moving outside its knitting into typical Hollywood fare (unnecessary explosions, chases, etc.). I appreciated that.

I liked the show; Hollywood probably loves it. They will likely extoll some of its artsy attributes, such as the small on-screen “box” in which the PM was shown during some “tight spots” in history. I didn’t think those quirky elements enhanced the film.

What does capture hearts of viewers is a scene when Winston mingles with the public and draws from their perspective. I expected that Churchill’s speeches would have the most powerful impact and didn’t anticipate this (apparently fictionalized) bit of history to be the most touching takeaway.

With its focus on the leader and a particular time, this film doesn’t tread on the ground of ones covering Normandy, which occurs later in history, or even the events of Dunkirk, which is a part of this period but not fully dramatized in The Darkest Hour.

In fact, it reminds me of the desire to see the movie Dunkirk, which I’ll enjoy as surely as most will welcome their time with this Winston Churchill story.
–>Update with link: Dunkirk did not fulfill my expectations.

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