REVIEW: \'Darkest Hour\' Has Its Flaws, But Is Educational, Exciting

Historical dramas and biopics are a dime a dozen. Every year brings plenty of these films for moviegoers and history buffs alike to eat up. Last year alone saw the release of “Dunkirk,” “Marshall,” “Breathe,” “Victoria & Abdul” and many more. Even Steven Spielberg’s latest film in the genre, “The Post,” opens this Friday, Jan. 12.

Several of these films end up getting a lot of awards buzz around this time of the year. One such film in theaters now is “Darkest Hour.”

“Darkest Hour” tells the story of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, played by Gary Oldman, as he struggles to lead the island nation during the waging World War II.

Before watching this film, I knew the bare minimum about Churchill. I knew who he was, but not a lot about him. After seeing “Darkest Hour,” I feel as if I could hold a decent conversation about the man.

This film does a very good job of giving audiences an idea of who Churchill really was and the political climate in which he became the prime minister. He wasn’t a very well-liked person, but he was someone who could hopefully get the job done. “Darkest Hour” showcases mindsets of different political stances during World War II. It explains the reasoning for why Churchill was appointed, but also all the hesitancies people had about it.

The biggest topic of discussion and praise surrounding “Darkest Hour” is Oldman’s portrayal of this historical icon.

Oldman was just awarded a Golden Globe for his performance, and it was undoubtedly deserved. Through a mix of prosthetic makeup and brilliant acting, Oldman became Churchill. He was unrecognizable, not just because of the makeup, but because Oldman was able to take on so many different mannerisms and ways of speaking. He really dove into the role, and it shows wonderfully.

Oldman will be nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in “Darkest Hour,” and I think he could win.

Although the film as a whole is dramatic, exciting and informative, it does have a few flaws.

The first of these flaws is the perspective in which the story is told, specifically surrounding the character Elizabeth Layton, played by Lily James. At first, the story makes it seem like it is going to be told through the viewpoint of Layton, which could’ve worked. But the film quickly switched back to showing events primarily through Churchill’s perspective, with a few temporary cuts back to Layton’s viewpoint. The back-and-forth makes the film feel a bit unfocused.

The second flaw I see is the abrupt ending of the film. Something pretty exciting happens and the audience is ready to see what follows, but then the credits start rolling and the movie is over. While it doesn’t take away from the rest of the movie, I wish I could’ve seen a more solid conclusion to the drama.

“Darkest Hour” is another great historical drama. It’s the kind film that can be shown in your history course and not bore all the students. Oldman gives what could very well be the performance of the year as Winston Churchill, and the film is very educational, yet exciting. It has flaws, but I would still recommend seeing “Darkest Hour,” especially if you’re a history buff.

arts@dailynebraskan.com

Source : http://www.dailynebraskan.com/arts_and_entertainment/review-darkest-hour-has-its-flaws-but-is-educational-exciting/article_3dcef372-f743-11e7-9fd2-4f561d9ce527.html

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REVIEW: \'Darkest Hour\' Has Its Flaws, But Is Educational, Exciting

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