Oldman is amazing in tense history drama about Britain’s ‘Darkest Hour’

By MARK VIOLA

In my review of Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” this past summer, I remarked about how the World War II battle is not well known here in the U.S. because it occurred before America joined the war. Much of that movie was shown through the points of view of the soldiers on the ground, on the sea and in the air, as hundreds of thousands of British troops found themselves with their backs to the English Channel and the German army relentlessly marching forward to destroy them.

Now Hollywood is giving us another perspective of these events in the form of “Darkest Hour,” a biopic about British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during his first month in office when the country found itself with dwindling options and little hope for survival, let alone victory.

“Darkest Hour” is from director Joe Wright, whose previous films include “Atonement,” which was also set during this period of the war, as well as “Hannah” and “Anna Karenina.” The movie stars Gary Oldman (“The Dark Knight Rises”) as Churchill in one of the best performances of his career.

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