Darkest Hour is a biopic of the former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and so in turn, is a film that depicts the UK at a more unified time, with a more palpable sense of identity – one that seems somewhat lost in a contemporary landscape. So when we sat down with the film’s director Joe Wright (Atonement) we discussed the need for a Churchill-like figure today.
We also speak about the authentic portrayal of the man himself within this endeavour, and how the picture isn’t afraid to explore his flaws and imperfections, as well as his triumphs. We then ask Wright whether he’s frustrated at how many times audiences have delved into similar themes of late, such as in Churchill, The Crown and Dunkirk.
Wright also explains why he opted for Gary Oldman to take on the leading role, and why he believes Ben Mendelsohn, who plays King George VI, was the perfect choice. We then discuss the benefit of having a lead character who spoke on such cinematic terms, and we ask Wright for an update on his next movie ‘Stoner’ – starring Tommy Lee Jones and Casey Affleck.
A thrilling and inspiring true story begins at the precipice of World War II as, within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill (Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman) must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.
Darkest Hour is released on January 12th. You can read our review from TIFF here.