DVD Review: The Darkest Hour

DARKEST HOUR
Universal Home Entertainment

I’ve always been a fan of movies about the European WWII stuff. I just can’t get enough. We recently finally saw Dunkirk and I quite enjoyed it. DARKEST HOUR came out on disc this week so I popped in the Blu-Ray last night.
I am pretty familiar with this period of history and even more so having just watched Ken Burn’s The Roosevelts. So going into this I had some knowledge of the events. This movie did give a nice look into the turmoil that Winston Churchill was dealing with both personally and with his war cabinet. He was never popular with the people in charge but the people grew to love and respect him and he was the right person for the job of getting while the war raged. I’m not sure how much is based on fact and how much was speculation, but I really like the way the relationship between Churchill and his wife was portrayed. I thought the way they show him talking to the public was interesting as well and I’d love for that to be true.
Bio pics being what they are, films made to entertain, you know that there is some fictionalizing and it’s more about getting the feel of these people and setting tone. This is also why these character driven movies need great casts. Gary Oldman blew me away and if I didn’t know going in I might not have recognized him. He is truly a chameleon who wriggles right into his role and plays it beautifully. Ben Mendelson as King George VI was also terrific. He played someone used to being royalty but also someone leading as country in crisis and it came across perfect. Lily James played Churchill’s secretary/aide Elizabeth Layton and it was through her eyes that we see much of the unfolding of events. It was wonderful to see through her as Churchill became the man people needed him to be. And the real heart of the film for me was Kristin Scott Thomas as Churchill’s wife Clemmie. I hope there relationship was a great as it was portrayed to be because here she gave him strength and support and understood who he needed to be.
This is a film worthy of awards and it is a great look at the story behind the amazing speeches and the man that rallied a nation in crisis.

The extra features were a treat as the folks involved with the movie explain the process and concern about getting it right.

Available now on Blu-Ray, DVD and to stream
Jon