Thursday, March 15, 2018
I just saw Darkest Hour and I liked the movie a lot. I read that Churchill’s grandson, who now sits in the British parliament, said that besides some understandable artistic license, the movie is an accurate portrayal.
I can’t judge how far off from the historical record the portrayal of Churchill is but I see it as of the emergence of this great shambles of a highly, highly talented man, imperfect in many respects, a failure in many respects, to great leadership and resolve when the times most called for it.
So I don’t see the portrayal of his many warts and blemishes as our moments’s need to downsize greatness. I see it rather as an effective dramatization of his dealing both within himself and externally with the all the incredible pressures raining downing on him at this time of greatest existential peril.
In fact I think that critics are too harsh in judging Lord Halifax as the movie presents him. I think the movie gives his argument fair force and dramatizes superbly the Churchill Halifax/Chamberlain debate with compelling arguments on both sides as to whether to negotiate or fight.
Sure, Darkest Hour, (which is just before dawn,) gets schmaltzy near the end with the subway ride and Churchill drawing strength and wisdom from the people as King George advises him to do. But there’s nothing schmaltzy about Churchill’s great parliamentary speech that ends the movie on a properly rousing note.
And hey, any historical inaccuracy notwithstanding, Gary Oldman’s performance is one for the record books....