Darkest Hour

Directed by Joe Wright, Starring Gary Oldman, Kristen Scott Thomas, Ben Mendelsohn,  Stephen Dillane and Lily James

This is a big movie about a larger than life leader who’s headstrong approach and compassionate heart enabled him to make a decision in one of the world’s darkest hours that would ensure the security of democratic society. This time in history is a big deal. Dunkirk, released a few months ago, gives us the other side of the story and it is important to better understand the significance of it all. If Mussolini had managed to broker a deal between the Brits and Hitler, we would be living in a much different society today. This film does that moment justice.

There was a lot of hype about Gary Oldman’s performance going into this Canadian Premiere at TIFF, but that did not spoil the impact. He is absolutely magnificent. Best actor, best make-up and their should be a “best physical transformation” award.

Supported by an amazing cast, I would not be surprised to see them all recognized during awards season. Kristen Scott Thomas is positively divine as his beloved Clementine and Ben Mendelssohn is surprisingly effective as King George. Stephen Dillane is fabulous as Viscount Halifax. Lily James is also a delight in the role Elizabeth Layton, his loyal secretary.

This film will do well in the theatres I am sure. Perhaps theatres should play a double feature – Darkest Hour followed by Dunkirk or visa versa. Remind you of anything? Nah Eleanor Rigby was not nearly as important as this….

Timing is everything and never has it been more important to remember history and learn from it than today.

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