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I am finally relieved of the long wait: the Gathering Storm left me
strangely unfulfilled, ending as it did with the outbreak of WW2. Now
Thaddeus Sullivan's Into the Storm carries us forward into that mammoth
conflict with a splendid sensitive portrayal of the enigmatic
Hats off to Brendan Gleeson, I would never have thought an Irish actor could take over from my hero Albert Finney with such consummate ease, but I guess Brendan owns the role of Winston now, he truly WAS him! (Then again, what do I know, I thought Len Cariou played Roosevelt with a British accent,imagine my surprise to find he's a Winnipeger who lived a long time with Glen Close!)
But Gleeson really was brilliant: His tribute to the disfigured pilot,are you humble in my presence,how humble do you think I am in yours? Drops his towel in front of Roosevelt, you see I have nothing to conceal from you ha ha! On religion: whether you believe or disbelieve,it's a wicked thing to take away a man's hope.
I loved the throwaway lines: RAF Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris being stopped for speeding, and the copper saying you might have killed somebody, and Harris replying My dear fellow, I kill thousands of people every night!
And Winnie's relationship with King George who was worried by Churchill's plans to land on DDay: I have decided to go in with the forward landing craft, I'm sorry your Majesty that would be impossible.. Why not Winston, at least I have a replacement.
Come to think of it, there's no spoilers here, this is simply a trailer.. don't miss the show!
I thought it was very good. Someone said that it does not bring out the man's humor but I disagree. They also said that Clemmie looks more on the verge of divorcing him then the supportive wife she was, but I disagree on that too. One might say those things for they might remember a hell of a lot more having lived those years, but what I think this film gathers up best are those pieces in history as they have been recorded, and those most relevant for that matter. Very good acting in my opinion, very convincing. Churchill, what a man, I like these kind of biographical movies when they are done well, and this one sure was.
I simply loved this movie. amazing story of bravery and great
leadership and chivalry. I felt very connected to this movie as an
Iranian since my own country was in 8 years of bloody war with Iraq(
read the world)! The writing was flawless , lovely story telling with
almost all angles of Winston Churchill's characters. I liked how the
writer showed how important Mrs.Churchill was in the success of Winston
Churchill as one of the best politicians of the history , with out
casting and direction was just perfect and let's not forget unbelievable make ups that were done on the face of the actors and actresses. Epic job by the costume designer(s) as well. but I think everybody agrees that the best of the best in this film is the performance of the leading actor whom by the way I can not believe did not win golden globe after this outstanding performance.
In the end I have mention the big mistake by the writers made in writing , the movie shows that Stalin , Roosevelt and Churchill meet in Tehran but they never mention the main reason of that meeting. the main reason of that meeting was to decide over the new government of Iran after the removal of Reza Shah whom they assumed was pro Germany. Allied government needed Iran to be saved from Germany who had racial roots with Iranians because of Iran's key role in the middle east and more importantly it's resources and of course Persian Gulf as the key to Suez Canal. also fall of Malaysia and Philippines was never mentioned which was another error made by the writers. the way they pictured the war it was like world war 2 was all about and around Britain which was not the case at all.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Our interest in watching this wonderful made for television film was to
catch Brendan Gleeson in the role of Winston Churchill. He was
following an iconic performance by Albert Finney, who in 2002 gave us
"The Gathering Storm" that deals with the same situation, although, in
different ways. The film was written also by Hugh Whitemore, that was
responsible for the first installment on the figure of Churchill and
his role during the terrible years he was involved as Prime Minister of
England. Thaddeus O'Sullivan, an Irish director that has worked a lot
on television delivers as it catches our attention from the start.
"Into the Storm" is a personal triumph for Brendan Gleeson, one of the most versatile actors working in the industry these days. He gives an interesting reading on the man that was instrumental in winning the conflict because of his vision about what he felt was his responsibility to the people of England. One could argue with the person that submitted a comment to this forum that he might have been a bit younger for the part, but Mr. Gleeson is totally convincing he is no one, but Winston Churchill.
Janet McTeer, a wonderful actress appears as Winston's wife, Clementine, or "Clemmie" as he used to call her. She gives a dignified performance and matches her co-star perfectly. Iain Glen is seen as King George, who shows he was no coward when he asked to be in the front line as the Allied forces were invading the Normandy beaches. Len Cariou plays President Roosevelt, who is seen in his wheelchair, something that most other accounts of history try to avoid showing.
Although some historians might object as the veracity of the material, this is a drama that no doubt has taken liberties, and yet, it shows us what life was during the dark times that Winston Churchill and the people involved in the war effort had to live through.
As an history teacher whose bust of Churchill graces my classroom wall, I was looking forward with some trepidation, feeling that this would be another example of British film-makers dumbing down for their American cousins. And reading the comments here, it would appear with some reason. Churchill is supposed to come across as an humourless man with chunks of history taken out or exaggerated. However, I find this to be a study in resolution under unimaginable pressure. The war in Britain is presented with broad strokes, but such short episodes manage to convey the mythic times they present. Churchill is not seen to be infallible (at times he expresses gratitude for the war and a megalomania that cost his judgement so dear, whether at Gallipoli or with Norway) but this all the more makes one appreciate his achievement. This film is meant to have viewers come away with an understanding of what his leadership meant and why he was such a towering figure over the past century. Of course much is left undeveloped or left out, but then this was only 100 minutes long. For those who know Churchill intimately through history (including his own), I think you'll be gratified with many of the asides and intimations that may pass over the heads of others. If I have any quibbles, one would be the format. I'm not sure why the narrative goes back and forth after VE day and during the war. It adds nothing but in fact messes up the history needlessly- Churchill had been at Potsdam when news of his crushing election defeat came in, not on holiday in France. That why it was such a blow, and how he knew (as he is made to say here) that Stalin was shocked; if even Churchill could lose elections, better to dispense with them in his Eastern settlements. Churchill's role at Potsdam was crucial, not only in the final settlement with Germany, but in having the US agree with the dropping of the A bomb. Here is an example of his greatness in shaping our world completely erased only to have considerable dramatic licence made concerning his marriage, which was never as rough as is made out. But as a tribute to one of those rare Great Men who change the course of history (even rarer for being, in this case, for our lasting benefit), it makes one watch with back straightened and a lump in the throat. Sure, some scenes appear staged (as when he meets with young airmen about to do battle, inspiring him to come up with "Never in the field of human conflict..." on the spot) but then, Churchill lived by and through myths. With fine direction (it was produced, I noticed, by Ridley Scott!) and acting, I'm going to force my girlfriend now to sit and watch it with me. www.imperialflags.blogspot.com
As you can gather from the other "reviewers" here, the only people who generally disliked this movie are the pretentious English snobs and those who want to be. Perhaps they forget, this is a movie. It, like all "true stories," lies on a historical foundation that is covered by a great deal of assumptions. Assumptions that have to be made because so few are left alive who knew Churchill, and even fewer who have reliable memories. Only so much screenplay and dialogue can be gleamed from the pages of a history book. Otherwise you'd end up with a documentary instead of a movie. If a documentary is more your taste, then watch one. This is a movie. And a damn good one.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm not sure whether this was intended to be a sequel to "The Gathering
Storm" - the 2002 docudrama that did a good job of documenting Winston
Churchill's life up to the outbreak of World War II - but whether or
not it was, it's an essential companion piece if you're interested in
Churchill's life. This deals with the war years, although doesn't
portray any warfare (except for a brief shot of Churchill watching
newsreels about the D-Day landings.) The focus is very much on
Churchill - on his state of mind, on his personality, on his hopes and
fears, and - like the earlier movie - on his relationship with his wife
Clementine. It's a fascinating portrayal. It's not exciting in a normal
sense, but it's interesting.
Brendan Gleeson was very good as Churchill. I didn't miss Albert Finney, who was in the earlier production. Janet McTeer did a good job as Clementine. Their relationship was interesting to watch - very loving and supportive, but clearly also tensions (Clementine isn't thrilled that her husband was Prime Minister and she doesn't like the way he treats the people around him.) The movie jumps a bit from scene to scene - probably inevitably. Some aspects of Churchill's war-time life are strangely left out. For example, there's little interest in his relationship with his generals or with US General Eisenhower. In fact the movie (with he and Clemmie vacationing in France as a backdrop - which causes some historical confusion for me which I'll relate in a moment) has as it's underlying theme Churchill's fear of losing the election that was called after Germany's surrender. This I found interesting (if it's accurate.) I've always wondered why Churchill lost. You'd think he would have won. If the movie is accurate, I can understand his loss much better; particularly in the light of the radio speech he's depicted making, in which he lashes out viciously at the Labour Party and accuses them of needing to establish a "Gestapo" to implement their policies. Not very diplomatic, and - as the movie points out - certainly not destined to win over those who might have leaned Labour but supported Churchill in appreciation for his war leadership and who were front and centre in the fight against Hitler and Nazism and the Gestapo. I don't know if that was an accurate depiction of what Churchill said about Labour during the campaign or not, but if it was it was a huge political mistake! Churchill was, of course, devastated by his defeat, but I thought the ending of the movie served as an appropriate tribute (whether historically accurate or not.) After leaving office, Churchill - quite bitter - reluctantly agrees to go to a play with Clementine. As the play ends, the star draws the audience's attention to the presence of "the man who saved our nation - Winston Churchill," to which the audience responds with a standing ovation and cheers of "bravo." Whether it happened or not, it should have happened! That would have served as a better tribute than Churchill's disappointing return to office in 1950.
The historical confusion I have revolves around the French vacation. Churchill was at the Potsdam Conference in Germany (not on vacation in France) with Stalin and Truman when the election results were announced, but there was no reference to him being at the Potsdam Conference?
In closing, I was quite taken with the performance (in a limited role) of Iain Glen as King George VI. He was very good, as were Len Cariou as Roosevelt and Aleksei Petrenko as Stalin.
this is a very enjoyable war drama without reaching any great heights
in excitement. Brendan Gleeson acts well as Churchill and overall the
film gives us a good impression of the difficulties of the time and how
Churchill managed those difficulties and his 'assistants'. His
fallibility as well as his leadership are well known and I agree with
the earlier comment that the Stalin like character was terrific and a
real star in his somewhat brief role. Roosevelt was well portrayed and
you should not worry Mr Attley was portrayed as a Scot.
I did find the twisting of the story a little annoying insofaras we are watching churchills life during the war years but the story softly concentrates on his holiday in France with his wife at the end of the war and his struggle to hold onto power.
Not convinced this is intended in any way to be a sequel to Gathering Storm.
there are some good one-liners in this movie by Churchill, King George and others. Not convinced Gleeson makes it his own as Churchill but cant fault him for his efforts and professionalism and it really doesn't matter that he is much younger than Churchill actually was, this is a drama film and lets not forget that.
100 minutes is long enough and we are spared warfare throughout the film. this is not a war film and nor is intended as a biography on Churchill the man but much more a documentary to churchills role as British leader during those war years.
Easy to mock it as a British as the film is intended clearly for an American audience but it does not deflect from its entertainment level and the ending is for once a satisfying one.
after all, always better to leave the cinema happy even if not in agreement with the outcome.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Gathering Storm" was a fantastic film and Albert Finney's
performance in that movie was nothing short of remarkable. I'm not sure
why he didn't star in the sequel, but even his outstanding talents
might not have been enough to rescue this film.
"Into the Storm" film missed too many of the key dramatic moments in the Churchill narrative. Churchill learned of his ridiculous electoral defeat (shame on you, British voters of 1945!) at Potsdam, not while on vacation in France. The writers changed history needlessly, for Potsdam would have formed a much more dramatic framework in which to flashback from. Certainly far more so than the vacation in France. Heck, HBO might have even gotten Gary Sinise to reprise his masterful performance as Truman.
Why was there no depiction of Churchill's attempt to warn Stalin of Hitler's looming invasion and Stalin's ignoring of said warning? And where is Churchill interacting with figures like Eisenhower and De Gaulle? Why was all of this omitted? The worst thing about this movie, however, was the omission of Churchill's immortal "Finest Hour" speech. Seriously, how could the writers and producers omit such an amazing and inspirational speech? I was looking forward to the scene of him delivering this speech but, alas, it never came. The producers also could have thrown in a scene of his address to Congress (by the way, what was with the actor playing FDR? He resembled FDR, but didn't even try to sound like him at all).
This film was about one of the bravest and boldest men of all time, the man perhaps most responsible for the defeat of Nazism. He was a real hero. He may have been flawed personally, but heroism consists in the transcending of one's flaws in the achievement of great things.
How did the producers of this movie manage to screw up such golden subject matter?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film explores an intriguing question: why did the people of
Britain vote Labour in 1945, rejecting the man who had been their
champion throughout the War? That man, Winston Churchill, is the
central figure of the film and we are presented with many sides of his
character and with flashbacks to his work as Prime Minister from the
outbreak of war in 1939.
I was very impressed by this film. Brendan Gleeson is excellent as Churchill, as is Janet McTear as his wife, Clemmie. The whole film is very well cast and the settings and period detail are used to great effect. The script by Hugh Whitmore is very good, ranging from the quietly intimate (presenting the Churchills' marriage), to the humorous, to the grand rhetoric of his epic wartime speeches. Thaddeus O'Sullivan directs the film with great skill, at times moving the story forward with dramatic urgency, and at others bringing out the emotion of a scene skilfully and effectively. Even familiar speeches of Churchill's, which suffer from over-familiarity, come across with real power.
Britain was lucky to have had Churchill in its hour of need. He faced up to what the Nazis and the Fascists were doing and could see where appeasement policies would end up. History proved him right. After the fall of France, when Britain faced the might of Hitler's Reich alone, the rhetoric of Churchill inspired the people and urged them to fight on, despite every set-back. It would have been so easy to give in and settle for whatever terms Hitler would have offered. We owe a huge debt to Churchill for his determination and his tenacity. It is to the credit of this film that we feel warmth and sympathy for the man and gratitude for the leader.
I am glad to see that this film has won many awards. It certainly deserves them.
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