96 hours before the World War II invasion of Normandy, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill struggles with his severe reservations with Operation Overlord and his increasingly marginalized role in the war effort.
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June 1944. Allied Forces stand on the brink: a massive army is secretly assembled on the south coast of Britain, poised to re-take Nazi-occupied Europe. One man stands in their way: Winston Churchill. Behind the iconic figure and rousing speeches: a man who has faced political ridicule, military failure and a speech impediment. An impulsive, sometimes bullying personality - fearful, obsessive and hurting. Fearful of repeating, on his disastrous command, the mass slaughter of 1915, when hundreds of thousands of young men were cut down on the beaches of Gallipoli. Obsessed with fulfilling historical greatness: his destiny. Exhausted by years of war and plagued by depression, Churchill is a shadow of the hero who has resisted Hitler's Blitzkrieg. Should the D-Day landings fail, he is terrified he'll be remembered as an architect of carnage. Political opponents sharpen their knives. General Eisenhower and Field Marshal Montgomery are increasingly frustrated by Churchill's attempts to stop...
Brian Cox claimed that the cigar he smokes in the film was electric, due to Scotland's strict anti-smoking policies even for films. See more »
Churchill speaks of distracting the Germans or spreading their forces thin by invading elsewhere in Europe, apparently ignorant of Operation Fortitude, which involved a counterfeit army that appeared to German reconnaissance to be aimed at Calais rather than Normandy. See more »
I will never surrender. I will also never see this film again.
'CHURCHILL' was directed by Jonathan Teplitzky and stars Brian Cox, Miranda Richardson and John Slattery. ?Fearful of repeating the invasion of Gallipoli in 1915, Winston Churchill attempts to stop the planned invasion of Normandy in 1944. Only the support of Churchill's wife, Clementine, can halt the prime minister's physical and mental collapse.
I desperately wanted to love this movie. I really did. This is a fascinating period of our history and would have loved to see a great depiction of Churchill's perception of it on our screens for the world to enjoy. Alas, I did not. It's a melodramatic mess that has Brian Cox's unfathomable acting ability keeping it barely alive. The only other positive I can conceive is the splendid speech at the end because the rest of the movie was messy, incoherent and, the worst sin of all, boring.
This movie's structure is were it falters greatly for me. While the plot and point are clear, it doesn't feel like one flowing narrative. The scenes feel messy and out of place(when they aren't) and it overall doesn't appear like much effort went into the creation of the story for this film.
I wouldn't usually do an entire section of a review on the direction but that is the main way this movie falters, at least for me. 90% of the scenes in this movie are shot, acted and scored in the fashion that makes it seem like the fate of the universe rests in these characters words and makes the whole movie stupidly melodramatic. This style works for brief moments in the film but fails overall. A much less dramatic, more relaxed style that still displayed Churchill's eccentric nature would have sufficed but instead they opted for a melodramatic mess,
Brian Cox was honestly great in this movie and I bought every second of his performance. I don't agree that he reaches Oscar levels but I do believe he gets quite close. Miranda Richardson and John Slattery both do fine as Clementine Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower respectively but neither of them come close to Cox's undeniable skill.
The costume and set design for this movie was really good and felt genuine to the era. The cinematography is a very strange subject. On the one hand, it is overly dramatic and feels very weird in scenes that don't require the world to be resting on them. On the other hand, there are a few scenes, like the masterfully written speech, where this format works stupidly well and is very, very effective. So I am pretty torn with this format of cinematography but I feel that it is pretty weak as a whole package.
As good as Cox and the speech are, this movie is probably not worth your time overall. I don't recommend you watch it and I'll rate it a measly 3 Glasses of Scotch out of 10.
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