This review was first published by the Hillsdale College Churchill Project. For remarks on Darkest Hour by Hillsdale President Larry Arnn, and excerpts from Gary Oldman’s appearance at the College, click here.
Hour of Trial, and Triumph
Darkest Hour, a film by Focus Features, directed by Joe Wright, starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, and Kristin Scott Thomas as Clementine Churchill, 2hrs 5 min, December 2017.
Then out spake brave Horatius, The Captain of the gate: “To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late. And how can man die better Than facing fearful odds For the ashes of his fathers And the temples of his gods…” —Thomas Babington Macaulay
Troy Bramston of The Australian newspaper had pertinent questions about the new movie Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. With the thought that Troy’s queries might be of interest, I append the text of the interview.
The Australian : Of all the things Winston Churchill is purported to have said and done, the myths and misconceptions, which are the most prevalent and frustrating for scholars? None of these appear in the film, but there are three things that rankle: 1) The lies—that he was anxious to use poison gas; that he firebombed Dresden in revenge for Coventry; that he exacerbated the Bengal famine, etc.…
David Franco, reviewing the film Churchill, starring Brian Cox, raises questions he says everyone should be asking. “Isn’t the ability to accept one’s mistakes part of what makes a man a good leader? …. To what extent should we rely [on] past experiences in order to minimize mistakes in the future? These are the questions that make a bad movie like Churchill worth seeing.”
Well, I won’t be seeing this bad movie. Described as “perverse fantasy” by historian Andrew Roberts, it joins a recent spate of sloppy Churchill bio-pics that favor skewed caricatures over historical fact.…