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|Index||39 reviews in total|
38 out of 39 people found the following review useful:
Biographies Rarely Get This Good, 3 October 2003
Author: Mitch-38 from Houston, Texas
Finney adds yet another stupendous role to his acting credits. He plays Churchill warts and all, wisdom and all. Vanessa Redgrave is stunning as Mrs. Churchill. Finney and Redgrave, between the two, portray an interesting, intimate and wholly plausible complexity of their marriage and homelife. This, adding a major league cast of the Best of Britain, Jim Broadbent, Tom Wilkerson, Linus Roache, Derek Jacobi and on and on. If Nigel Hawthorne (God Rest him) was still among us, he would have been here. Richard Loncraine, the director, keeps the pace moving without compromising the performances. Finney deserves a special mention for his attempt to sound like WSC, without resorting to parody. A fine film, worthy of roses all around. A sumptuous screenplay that even Labour could support. Highly recommended.
30 out of 34 people found the following review useful:
Every once in a while..., 25 October 2002
Author: OttoVonB from Switzerland
A year ago, I read an extremely absorbing biography on Winston S Churchill, one of the best books I'd ever read. Two things sprung into my mind: 1) How come no one had ever filmed such an incredible character with such a historically involved life (not just the events around WWII: his whole life was riveting stuff!) into a classic? 2) How could anyone play HIM? Well every once in a while when you least expect it, you run into something by accident. Had it not been there, you'd never have even looked for it. Thank god for accidents! I saw this film on a British Airways flight. Every once in a while you'll find a real treasure. That was one of those moments. 1) Very accurate and well-written, this short film focused on the 1934-1939 period only, focusing on character dynamics and is one of the best character driven films I've ever seen. 2) Albert Finney! Albert Finney IS Churchill. The resemblance and voice are a 100% match. The acting is probably among the finest celebrity portrayals ever filmed... and as if that weren't enough, he is surrounded by a fantastic supporting cast doing their best (Redgrave as Clemmie Churchill in particular, though Jakobi, Broadbent and all the others deliver their fair share). Made for tv but boasting a comfortable 1:85 format and lush cinematography that only scream out how much this was destined to the big screen. One can only pray that cast and crew may unite for a bigger budget 3 hour piece also including WWII (or are we to expect a part 2 anyway, if so, all the better!). One can pray. Every once in a while, wishes are granted! :-)
18 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Excellent if just a bit historically inaccurate, 15 July 2004
Author: darthquincunx from Manchester
A superb film with a very good cast. Albert Finney is a brilliant Churchill and Vanessa Redgrave makes a very good Clemmie. The storyline is excellent but historically inaccurate. For instance, the year given is 1934 and we see Churchill making his infamous speech about Gandhi in the House of Commons but that speech was made in 1931. Stanley Baldwin, played superbly by Derek Jacobi, was not Prime Minister in 1934, Ramsay McDonald was until Baldwin took over in 1935. More importantly where was Neville Chamberlain, the true appeasement supporter? However, overall it was still a superb production and seeing Churchill or Finney strutting the steps of Admiralty House with the stirring music was brilliant and uplifting. A great film , shame about the slight inaccuracies
12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Albert Finney in a defining role, 17 January 2005
Author: jmerkouris from Nome, Alaska USA
This film, made for the small screen by Home Box Office, defines how TV movies should be made. The film is an absorbing look at one of the true visionary and inspiring leaders of the twentieth century, Sir Winston Churchill. Mr. Churchill is portrayed by Sir Albert Finney in a role certain to further define his distinguished career in film. Mr. Finney brings humor, strength, rascality, and an amazing resemblance of the character's figure, form and facial features to the role. Aside from this great performance, the film accurately depicts and captures the dark and indecisive years preceding the war in Britain with a strong cast, a splendid adaptation from Mr. Churchill's own writings and the sense of the personal strength and integrity that served England so well in this, Her finest hour.
10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Lets hope theres a sequel..., 2 May 2002
Author: rps-2 from Bracebridge Ont
Albert Finney is an ASTOUNDING Churchill. Voice. Appearance. Mannerisms. He's got it all down. Vanessa Redgrave is equally good as "Clemmie." I don't know whether I enjoyed this film because it was about history or because it was a masterful bit of acting. It's historically accurate and shot creatively. Those overrhead shots down into the courtyards are masterful and effective. Lets hope HBO plans one or two more films with Finney and Redgrave, one about the war years and the other about Churchill after the war. One thing puzzled me though. Two huge events of the era were not even mentioned...Edward's abdication and the 1938 Munich crisis.
10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
A sterling performance by Finney brings Churchill to life, 30 April 2002
Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
For most, the life of Sir Winston Churchill begins with WWII. In "The Gathering Storm", Finney brings Churchill to life with a superb representation of the man as an aging member of parliament, husband, father, friend, and man of the manor Chartwell in the decade prior to WWII. With a fine supporting cast and an excellent screenplay, "TGS" is a must see for WWII history buffs and anyone with a particular interest in Churchill, the man.
9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Churchill is brought back to life., 3 March 2003
Author: mduzair from Hamilton, Canada
This is a movie that captures the life of Sir Winston Churchill before he
became Prime Minister of England in 1940. The period the movie covers is
approximately from 1936-1939. The story is of a private and complex man
trying desperately to fight for what he believes in.
Albert Finney delivers a gem of a performance as Winston Churchill and steals the show. His role is central to the story and he is equal to the task in every way. Finney does an excellent job of portraying Churchill as a hard-nosed politician, an admirable statesman and England patriot who was also a kind hearted, sensitive man in his fifties who just wanted to "Keep Buggering On". Finney succeeds in bringing intense humanity and intimacy to the character of an immensely public figure.
This is a must see for those interested in Winston Churchill and WWII; it is an excellent prequel to the war itself since it lays the groundwork for many of the struggles within British society itself over the prospect of war with Germany. Excellent movie.
5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Far, Far too Short, 28 November 2006
Author: Brigid O Sullivan (wisewebwoman) from Toronto, Canada
Albert Finney's portrayal of Winston Churchill is up there with the
best characterizations of all time. He could have easily slipped into
caricature (that voice, that famous voice!)but he doesn't. I read
somewhere that it was an extremely painful undertaking for him as he
had to draw in his chin and get rid of his neck and he did it all
without prosthetics which is an extraordinary accomplishment.
Churchill is portrayed warts and all, we get a very complete picture, his crankiness, his ego, his art, and most of all his relationship with Clemmie, his wife, here played, and beautifully, by Vanessa Redgrave.
That the director, Richard Loncraine, assembled such an astonishing and talented supporting cast is to his credit. Jim Broadbent, Linus Roach, Tom Wilkinson, the brilliant and capable Ronnie Barker as Inches the Butler, Hugh Bonneville et al.
The story is historically and chronologically inaccurate but is forgiven in the light of the dramatization of the life of Winston. It is four years on, as I write this, and there is yet to be a sequel and this cries for it. We get the build-up to the war (and where on earth was Neville Chamberlain) but it would be interesting to see the life of Winston behind the actual war.
Wonderful location shots, the actual Churchill house in Chartwell, Kent was used. A must see. 8 out of 10. Pity it didn't run to 3 hours.
6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Finney and Redgarve are superb-some minor quibbles about the story, 25 February 2005
Author: Mark Hone from United Kingdom
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I enjoyed this very much, although I had certain quibbles. Finney is excellent and you forget that you are watching an actor. It could be argued that he portrays Churchill as an older man than he actually was in the 1930's when he was in his early 60's. The Finney Churchill is more like the late-war Winston, approaching 70. Derek Jacobi is miscast as Baldwin, who was a much more avuncular character, at least in his public persona. He is also not physically bulky enough. Poor old Neville Chamberlain is airbrushed out altogether and the film skates straight over the 1938 Munich Crisis, the apogee of Appeasement and deprived Churchill of some of his best lines, e.g. 'We have suffered an unmitigated defeat. On the other hand Vanessa Redgrave was superb as Clemmie and when Churchill returned to the Admiralty in triumph I shed an unashamed tear.
11 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Fair & Balanced Look At Churchill, 16 March 2007
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
How many movies do you see about Winston Churchill? Not enough, that's
for sure, at least here in the U.S. Albert Finney plays the great
British prime minister during the period before World War II and before
he was in politics. Churchill was trying to warn his countrymen in the
British Parliament of the dangers of Nazi Germany and most people
weren't listening. (How ironic, with today's situation involving
Islamic terrorists! Are WE listening?)
A big part of this film also details the romance between Churchill and his wife "Clementine" (Vanessa Redgrave). It's not some syrupy piece. It shows Churchill's warts, too, meaning his ego and temper. It's nicely filmed, a nice period piece and with just a handful of swear words. I was shocked, though, to hear one f-word, even if it was quoted from poetry. It seemed out of place in this TV film but obviously, television is more liberal in the UK.
This is a bit slow but a pleasant film I enjoyed.
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