In May 1940, the fate of Western Europe hangs on British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Adolf Hitler, or fight on knowing that it could mean a humiliating defeat for Britain and its empire.
During World War II, as Adolf Hitler's awesomely powerful Wehrmacht rampages across Europe, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Neville Chamberlain, is forced to resign, recommending Winston Churchill as his replacement. But even in his early days as the country's leader, Churchill is under pressure to commence peace negotiations with the German dictator or to fight head-on the seemingly invincible Nazi regime, whatever the cost. However difficult and dangerous his decision may be, Churchill has no choice but to shine in the country's darkest hour.Written by
This was the third film to be theatrically released in 2017 that dealt with Operation "Dynamo," the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk, France, between May and June 1940. The first was "Their Finest (2016)" and the second was "Dunkirk (2017)." Oddly enough, while "Their Finest," "Dunkirk," and "Darkest Hour" were released theatrically in that order, the events depicted in "Their Finest" took place after the events depicted in Darkest Hour, and some of the events depicted in Darkest Hour took place before Dunkirk. The three films could also be said to each show a different aspect of the operation. "Their Finest" was an insight into the cultural, social, and political impact of the evacuation on Britain and the war effort. "Dunkirk" portrayed the evacuation itself from the eyes of a British soldier, pilot, and civilian sailor involved in the operation, while, lastly, "Darkest Hour" showed Winston Churchill's role during the evacuation and in the "behind-the-scenes" political maneuvering surrounding the early period of the war. See more »
Winston Churchill's first use of the 'V' finger sign did not occur until the middle of 1941, a year after this film takes place. See more »
The deadly danger here is this romantic fantasy of fighting to the end. What is "the end" if not the destruction of all things? There's nothing heroic in going down fighting if it can be avoided. Nothing even remotely patriotic in death or glory if the odds are firmly on the former. Nothing inglorious in trying to shorten a war we are clearly losing.
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Disclaimer in closing credits: "The depictions of tobacco smoking contained in this film are based solely on artistic consideration and are not intended to promote tobacco consumption. The Surgeon General has determined that there are serious health risks associated with smoking and with secondhand smoke." See more »
As a film this is quite good; it's not dull, the performances are good, the production design is excellent, the script is a professional piece of work and even Oldman's make-up is not too distracting.
However, something is not right. If most people get their history from movies, this is concerning. It's obvious that actual events occurred with real people and what they did and said but in a movie this gets pasteurized into what smart people believe will be more thrilling, more sympathetic, more emotional. That process necessarily alters things into something that is even anachronistically rendered and therefore not in the record.
This defect occurs frequently in this movie , so it's not history but myth making. A good example is Churchill's dive into the Underground to meet the common person to steel his resolve. Now Churchill had a mixed view of the average voter, and he was a patrician, but even that aside, he did not need to take a Tube train survey to gauge opinion.
This scene is poached from Shakespeare's Henry V where the king goes among his soldiers the night before battle to hear them and take courage from their strength. Steal from the best is a good policy, but it's not history. It's Shakespearean history and that trades effect for accuracy too.
The audience is given this scene to present Churchill as an instrument of democracy; he's acting for what the people want, therefore he's doing the right thing. It's called pandering.
Well, it is just a movie.
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