It is May, 1940. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s leadership is in tatters after his actions in the face of the Nazi onslaught are decried as weak by the opposition Labour party. The only man Chamberlain feels will be accepted in a national government is deemed untrustworthy by King George VI (Ben Mendelsohn, The Place Beyond the Pines) and has a disastrous reputation in Parliament, not least due to his part in the catastrophic Gallipoli campaign in the First World War: Winston Churchill (played by an almost unrecognisable Gary Oldman).
From celebrated British director Joe Wright (Atonement), Darkest Hour masterfully dramatises Churchill’s fraught early days as Prime Minister, during which he faced not only the increasing threat of the continuing spread of Nazi control, but also dissent and attempts at sabotage within his own government as well as mistrust from that of the Allies’.
Oldman’s electrifying performance as the unyielding wartime Prime Minister earned him his first Academy Award for Best Actor as well as a BAFTA, and the part is widely considered to be one of his best to date.