Into the Storm (TV Movie 2009) Poster

(2009 TV Movie)

User Reviews

Review this title
24 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
10/10
Brilliant sequel to the Gathering Storm (spoilers?)
Bullus-131 May 2009
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 Churchill.

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!
53 out of 64 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
I thought it was very good
karl_consiglio5 December 2009
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.
24 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Terrific Tribute to a Great Man
gring018 December 2009
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
19 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Good Companion Piece To "The Gathering Storm"
sddavis6328 August 2010
Warning: 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.
10 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Outstanding
ajackaln6 March 2010
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 doubt.

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.
21 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
V for victory!
jotix10023 September 2009
Warning: 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.
19 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
another splendid British historical drama
mrcibubur26 January 2010
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.
11 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
An impressive achievement
Jazzist-H-Crisp15 May 2011
Warning: 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.
9 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Excellent Movie
kjrpott17 December 2009
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.
16 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Brilliant biopic
grantss19 December 2015
Brilliant biopic.

The story of Winston Churchill's World War 2 life. From the outset, to him becoming Prime Minister and further, capturing all the major highs and lows. The famous speeches and quotes are all there.

Concludes with the 1945 election, where the British people betrayed Churchill and ushered in a more socialist Britain, and ended an empire.

Solid direction and script.

What makes the movie, however, is Brendan Gleeson. He IS Churchill, to the smallest mannerism. Brilliant performance by him.

Excellent performance too from Janet McTeer as Clementine, Churchill's wife.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Falls Short
JimmyMcNulty9929 September 2010
Warning: 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?
13 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Oh No!
johnclark-18 June 2009
Sorry, but as an Englishman who lived through WWII in London, with a thorough awareness of the Churchill persona and character, I found this fictional depiction to be a mockery of him and those years. To begin with, Irish actor Brendan Gleeson is ten years too young for the part, indicated a lot of petty grumpiness, lacked the innate humor which was so much a part of the man, and to be more blunt from an acting standpoint, failed to inhabit his character. And Janet McTeer did not find the tenderness and devotion which we know existed between Clemmie and her husband, and seemed instead to be on the brink of divorce. Not to forget the scripter who offered strange choices. I found Churchill's supposed preoccupation with speech rehearsings to be particularly annoying. I suppose American viewers will like it, but what do they know.

Thank God there exists a six part documentary series on You Tube, where I was able to spend a little time to cleanse my mind of this Churchill travesty.
56 out of 130 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Another kind of war epic
Enchorde11 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Recap: Germany has declared war and suddenly the interior political stage in England is in turmoil. From it emerges Winston Churchill as the new prime minister and it is he that must lead the nation, make the difficult but critical decisions in this time of crisis.

Comment: A little different kind of war movie so focused upon one person so far from any fighting. But I, as most people I hope, already have quite vivid pictures of how the frontline looked, many movies have shown us that. So there is no problem to follow what happens. It actually makes this war movie kind of refreshing and not in any way less suspenseful or engaging.

Another thing to watch is Brendan Gleeson's acting. He is a very skillful actor and he shows it here. I don't know if the movie follows the truth totally. Dramatized stories rarely does. But the story combined with Gleeson's acting make it plausible. Believable. And for a movie, that's what is important.

7/10
10 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Cartoon version
pawebster3 November 2009
Superficial. Talk about dumbing down! I suppose, to be fair, there are millions in Britain, and even more in America, who have no idea who Winston Churchill was and the service he performed. Doubtless these people need to have the basics spelled out. However, the result is a the equivalent of a Disney cartoon version of A Christmas Carol. As an English viewer I also could not escape the uneasy feeling that this was a slightly twee version of British history adapted for Americans.

Gleeson did not convince me as Churchill. As another reviewer has noted, he lacked the impish and self-deprecating humour which was such an important counterbalance to some of his less endearing qualities. Janet McTeer's part could have been played by almost anybody. And when did Attlee become a Scot? One of the most convincing bits was the actor they found for Stalin - surely one of the best lookalikes of all time. Otherwise I don't know how they managed to gather such a roster of top acting talent for insignificant roles.

Shame. It could have been good.
21 out of 47 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
If you've seen Finney this may be a disappointment
Dunroman1 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Somehow the Albert Finney film got deeper into the man, the image of Finney going for a pee was just so Churchill - with a complete lack of concern about anything else when he had an idea in his head (particularly a speech in the forming), including his own nudity. Finney also looked more physically like Churchill.

Other reviewers have commented on the licence with history taken and this is a good point, but given that this man so centred his success on the spoken word, really there should have been greater use of his speeches to parliament or the repeats he subsequently made on the BBC. These speeches really were "tour-de-force" and the amount of effort that went into just one speech was truly incredible - perhaps a week or two of solid work - particularly his address to Congress.

One element that pleased me particularly was the reporting of the ==Gestapo speech==. This caused real controversy at the time, and maybe contributed to his defeat in 1945.

Perhaps the film makers used this speech as a device to highlight an apparently more unreasonable part of his nature (Churchill is still hated by some sections of the Left for his actions as Chancellor before and during the General Strike). So while it is valuable to show that he was a complex character, it reflected for me more other people's opinion of him rather than his real character as a man.

Indeed, by contrast, some on the Right in Britain today see a real degree of prescience in what he said, in that the police forces which were widely supported by the middle classes in the 80s and 90s have, in the naughties (and particularly post 9/11) lost that support through just such heavy-handed support for a socialist government, chasing tractor production figures - just as Churchill envisaged - "no longer civil and no longer servants".

Certainly in comparison with his other speeches the Gestapo speech was of minor importance and its impact in 1945 was probably very small (he was going to lose anyway) the film would have done better to concentrate on his other speeches - perhaps the Iron Curtain speech. Indeed there would have been better ways to show that in 45 he was out of touch with a nation tired of war

In all this, the Gleeson portrayal is still well worth watching and sheds light on the ability of a single man to shape history.

BTW for those interested in learning more about this flawed but truly great man, you could do worse than to read Roy Jenkin's biography of Churchill - perhaps the best - and very readable.
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Good but not great
blanche-229 November 2015
Though "Into the Storm" is possibly a sequel to "The Gathering Storm," it can't hold a candle to it. Nor can the performance of Brendan Gleeson, as good as it was, approach Albert Finney's performance in The Gathering Storm.

This movie deals with Churchill being named Prime Minister and his concern for the British force which is now trapped, his destruction of the French fleet, his forming of a unified government, meeting with Stalin and Roosevelt, and his final ousting from office in 1945.

Naturally, as some of the reviews here point out, there was a great deal left out. One of the reviewers states that Roosevelt and Churchill are responsible for World War II by cutting off access to trade, and that Hitler was faced with starving his people.

I suppose that's one way to look at it, and one can spin events any way one wants. The fact is, Hitler couldn't have cared less about the German people and he starved them anyway. He took their pots and pans and anything else they had, including teenage boys when they were needed to fight. And in the end, when it was obvious Germany was losing, he blamed the Germans. To present him as a concerned dictator who cared about his people - I'm sorry, it's ludicrous.

The author Marcia Davenport (The Valley of Decision), who was in love with Czech freedom fighter Jan Maserek, said that Roosevelt and Churchill sold Eastern Europe down the river. The reference to Poland toward the end of the movie hints at letting Stalin have Eastern Europe rather than go to war again.

Getting back to this film - yes, a great deal was left out by necessity and yes, I suppose to some it seems too simplistic. I, too, felt it was on the sketchy side.

But what bothered me were all these famous phrases of Churchill's just tossed off in normal conversation, so that when he talked, he always sounded like he was making a speech. For me it gave the production a very stagy feel. Then, when it came for him to actually make a speech, they left out his biggest one.

The acting was good, as the cast was top drawer, with Janet McTeer as Clementine Churchill, Iain Glen as King George, Len Cariou as FDR, and Aleksey Petrenko as Josef Stalin.

For some reason, as I read through the reviews, some people expected these actors to do Rich Little impressions of these people and were complimentary of Petrenko because he looked like Stalin. I don't think lookalikes and vocal impressions were the point of the film.

If you're a novice and intend to read up on some of the other aspects of World War II, this is a good starting point. It's by no means definitive.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Well acted, BUT I do not think it deserved all the praise & awards it received.
jaybob2 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Yes Brendan Gleeson & Janet McTeer are very good as Winston & Clementine Churchill.

I just do not see why this HBO film got so many award nominations. I am wondering is this the same Winston that inspired us during World War 2. I was young teen ager then, I do not think the man I remember had such a low esteem & low opinion of himself. thinking back the Churchill I remember was a vibrant dominant man & when he spoke we ALL paid attention.

I did not get the same impression watching this movie.

For those who do not know about this period in history, the movie will be interesting.

I am doubtful on the historical accuracy. It is well acted & made, for a HBO movie.

Ratings: *** (out of 4) 83 points (out of 100) IMDb 7 (out of 10)
5 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Interesting but slightly disappointing
phd_travel7 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Do watch this if you enjoyed The Gathering Storm. There are obviously some differences because of the new cast.

This movie shows behind the scenes details of Winston Churchill's life during WW2 and after. Don't expect a portrayal of England in WW2 or you will be slightly disappointed. Instead it is interesting to people who want to find out details of Chuchill's life and his reactions to specific events.

Brendan Gleeson had a difficult task to fill Albert Finney's shoes. And he simply doesn't do as good a job. His physical appearance is further away from Churchill's and his mannerisms and voice aren't quite as good.

Janet McTeer is a bit young looking for the role. But she is perfectly adequate.

A bit of a let down as a war movie in its microscopic vision but then that is the point of it anyway. It's a biopioc and that's all.
4 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Winston Churchill The War Years
gpeevers6 May 2019
A biographical film about Winston Churchill during World War II, it was a follow up to The Gathering Storm which was made seven years earlier and covered the years just prior to the war.

The film is told largely in flashbacks while Churchill and his family are holidaying in France at the conclusion of the war as they wait for the results of the election.

Brendan Gleeson who replaces Albert Finney from the previous film, gives a very good performance as Churchill who has to be one of the most often portrayed historical figures. Gleeson would pick up an Emmy which duplicated what Finney also achieved. Since then we have also seen John Lithgow pick up an Emmy for his portrayal of Churchill in The Crown and Gary Oldman an Oscar for Darkest Hour.

Janet McTeer plays Clementine Churchill and gives a fine restrained performance which apparently was her intention as Clementine was a very reserved person. Iain Glen gives a strong performance a King George VI as does Len Cariou with Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Churchill is portrayed as a brilliant, heroic, inspirational leader, but also as a flawed man driven by what he perceives as his destiny or duty to prevail and succeed at all costs - ignoring everything and everyone else.

All in all it is a solid if not outstanding production.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
like the man said: nothing to conceal; so, here's to the proletarians and conservatives
lee_eisenberg27 August 2017
Without a doubt, Winston Churchill's reputation got solidified by leading the United Kingdom through World War II and bringing about its greatest victory. Thaddeus O'Sullivan's "Into the Storm" focuses on Churchill's period as prime minister. As the PM, Brendan Gleeson (Mad-Eye Moody in the Harry Potter movies) puts his all into the role, as does Janet McTeer as his wife Clementine.

Two scenes in particular stood out to me. One is when Churchill is meeting Roosevelt in the White House and has an awkward moment, forcing the PM to say "As you can see, I have nothing to conceal." A little instance of comic relief. The next is when the two of them have a summit with Stalin in Tehran's Soviet embassy. Churchill toasts the proletarians and Stalin toasts the Tories. This is undeniable evidence of the saying that politics makes strange bedfellows (in this case, the communist state and the western imperial powers saw a common enemy in Nazi Germany). I guess that it indirectly predicted Russia's current partnership with Iran.

Anyway, it's a good movie. While the bulk of the credit should go to Gleeson - who won a well deserved Emmy for his performance - I'd say that McTeer deserves her fair share. She's a criminally underrated actress. Watch "Songcatcher" and "Albert Nobbs" and see if you disagree.

I hope to see "The Gathering Storm" eventually.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Into the Storm -- A Review
jonathanruano25 April 2010
"Into the Storm" is one of those films where the lead actor Brendan Gleeson plays wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill as though he is that man, but all that talent goes to waste because this film is nothing more than a white-wash of history. Evidentally the creators of this movie were more concerned about not offending anyone than with creating a film that was thought provocative, profound and even controversial. As a result, the plot and the characters simply go through the motions like in the propaganda war films from the 1940s. But you can also excuse the corny propaganda reels because they were a product of their own time. But one cannot excuse "Into the Storm" especially considering that it was made in 2009 when more primary documents about this period were available to the public.

Indeed, in my humble view, this film would have been so much better if it remained faithful to the historical record instead of portraying the Second World War much in the same way as grandpa wanted to see it. The real Winston Churchill, for example, may have been a genius, but he had a very dark side which was completely overlooked in this movie. Churchill knew in April 1939 that Hitler would go to war to escape from the economic troubles that Germany was facing at that time. Moreover, Chamberlain and Roosevelt were in large part responsible for causing the Second World War. They worked together in implementing the Tripartite Stabilization Agreement, the Anglo-American Trade Agreement and other measures which had the effect of reducing German exports. Since the Germans could no longer earn foreign exchange (with which to buy foodstuffs and raw materials) by exporting goods abroad, Hitler faced a situation where he would either have to impose a tough austerity program that would have caused massive unemployment and starved his people or he would have to obtain his foodstuffs and raw materials through territorial conquest. He chose the latter course. But once again, "Into the Storm" makes no reference to that side of the story. If it did, then this movie would have been a lot more interesting.

Finally, I object to the way Franklin D. Roosevelt was portrayed in this film by Len Cariou. Cariou seems to have got the impression that Roosevelt was a plain spoken honest man, when he was in fact the complete opposite. Roosevelt played mind games with his staff, his foreign allies and with his enemies. Moreover, he was the mastermind behind economic warfare against Germany. Once again, this film can take any approach to the material that it likes. But I submit that the reality of what happened is so much more interesting than any of the white-wash that this movie has to offer.

"Into the Storm" is not the worst movie I have seen. But it is pretty bad. It has no imagination, it does not have a whole lot of intelligence and the creators lack the independent mindedness to portray the past in a new and original way.
8 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Not a storm, more of a drizzle
timoconnor26 April 2016
Having read Churchill's magnificent history of the Second World War and seen a number of depictions of him in other movies (that have been mentioned by other reviewers here, so I won't repeat them) I was just disgusted by the grotesque caricature of this great man presented by this HBO travesty. Not to mention the mangled and carelessly chosen history and helter-skelter back & forth ordering of events. This movie could have been improved considerably by devoting much more time to Winston's relationship with his pet dog - which is my way of pointing out just how bad it is. I'd give it 1 star out of 10 but they did manage to randomly throw in some fine historical footage that was interesting to see. But seriously if you think you know anything about the Second World War and have not read Churchill's history, I think you will be overwhelmingly amazed at what you do not know. As Winston said to Stalin at their first encounter "The truth requires a bodyguard of lies."
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
satisfactory film set during the second world war
ivannaromanyuk5 March 2016
It is quite difficult for me to give a positive or negative vote to a film "Into the storm". So I will restrict myself to rought out the things I liked and those l didn't like. "Into the storm" is satisfactory film set in Great Britain during the second world war with Brendan Glieeson as a protagonist. In fact satisfactory is the best adjective to describe this film. I expected some more excitement and bustle from this fiml. However all things considered the scenes were tedious. I found Churchill's preoccupation with his speech to be particularly annoying. Moreover this movie was made in 2009. So the creators and main director Thaddeus O'Sullivan could have used some more primary document about this period in order to make "into the storm" more reliable from historical point of view. What about positive aspects, I liked the fact that protagonist reported real speeches of Winston Churchill. Also it is important to point out the relative imortance given to the wife of prime minister Clemmie interpreted by Janet McTeer. Her presence made this movie some more interesting. I really liked amazing performance of Brendon Glieeson. Even if he is Irish I think he managed to become real Churchill on scene. His sarcastic character gave some more vitality to the movie. Unfortunately this film does not provoke any particular emotion in the viewer . Sure enough there are not anything exceptionale but if you have a fancy for historical and biographical films it worths watching
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A Fine Cast Recreates History!
Sylviastel5 August 2014
Brendan Gleeson did a splendid job playing Winston Churchill, one the century's most important leader as British Prime Minister during the Second World War. After the war, he takes vacation in the South of France. He flashes back to the Nazi invasion of Belgium and Holland. Janet McTeer is perfect as his wife, Clementine. The rest of the cast are well known on stage in the West End of London. They all do a fine job. The art direction is superb and believable. The film-length is long enough. Brendan Gleeson's performance as Winston Churchill is fully believable and multi dimensional. You can feel his pain and anguish in the film.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed