Telluride Film Review: ‘Darkest Hour’
The face that appears belongs to Gary Oldman, all but unrecognizable beneath Kazuhiro Tsuji s jowly prosthetic makeup and thinning white hair.
Arriving at a moment when screens are virtually saturated with Churchill portrayals ranging from John Lithgow s turn on The Crown to theatrical offerings starring Brian Cox and Michael Gambon Darkest Hour is by far the most cinematic, this despite Anthony McCarten s script, so eloquently theatrical that it conceivably could have been performed on a blank stage.
Since his very first feature, 2005 s Pride & Prejudice, he has been reinventing the rules of how period pieces ought to be shot, and Darkest Hour is no different.
Churchill may be prime minister, but his power is blocked by the leaders of both parties, who are scheming to undermine him, lest he agree to talk peace with Italy s Benito Mussolini.
And McCarten creates an entirely original, if borderline-corny sequence set in the London Underground, during which Churchill interfaces directly with his constituents, regardless of race or class.