The Darkest Hour envelops the audience into the 1930’s

Joey Watts, Staff Writer

Joe Wright’s The Darkest Hour introduces 1930s Great Britain at the brink of war. Ronald Pickup’s portrayal of Neville Chamberlain has assured Europe that Adolf Hitler has come to power with peaceful intentions. After that promise was broken, Winston Churchill, as played by Gary Oldman, is called as Prime Minister of Great Britain to lead his nation through the immense conflicts that are to consume Europe in the following years.

Being a history nut and a fan of Gary Oldman, I was quite excited to sit down and watch this movie with my father. The beginning was a bit difficult to get through due to the long, uneventful political drags that tended to bore me, but when Lily James was introduced onto the scene as Elizabeth Layton, things got interesting. With Layton being Churchill’s personal stenographer, there were unexpectedly funny moments she was a part of that left me and my dad gasping for air. Moments such as Layton working through Churchill’s bathroom door, Gary Oldman’s bumbling impression of Prime Minister Churchill stumbling around the sets, and the awkward encounter between Churchill and King George VI were truly great moments that revealed just who Winston Churchill really was.

As the story progressed, I started to feel as if I was actually involved in the Churchill family’s affairs. Birthdays, celebrations and other family events displayed in the film gave sight to how his family operated, opening insight to what 1939’s Great Britain was like.

While the movie was quite humorous, I tended to find it hard to stay focused considering there were so many dragging dialogues that seemed to find no conclusion. I did admire, however, how Winston Churchill didn’t care about gender roles in the workplace. In British war offices, women weren’t allowed into the war room where the commands were made but the moment Churchill barged in, that all changed. He positioned his secretary right there in the front line where she would position commands onto the war board where the attacks were mapped.

All in all, this movie was absolutely astounding. I feel this was truly one of Oldman’s best performances. This movie is perfect for any history nut wanting a deeper look into the happenings of the British government during the beginning tides of war.