Venice, Telluride and TIFF were a little light on offering up slam dunk Oscar contenders, but one performance nearly everyone agrees is a lock for a nomination is Gary Oldman. The English actor was last nominated for Best Actor in 2012 for “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” and he’s the frontrunner in the category at this point for his work as Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour,” directed by “Atonement” filmmaker Joe Wright.
The official synopsis reads: “Within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: Exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.”
In his B+ review out of Telluride, “‘Darkest Hour’ is as rousing and ferocious as Winston Churchill was himself. It’s also a hell of a lot more controlled. Unfolding with the clockwork precision of a Broadway play — director Joe Wright has always been at his best when he’s at his most theatrical — this tightly coiled retelling of Churchill’s first days in office is more than (yet another) passionate appeal to our collective goodness; it’s a deliciously unsubtle testament to the power of words and their infinite capacity to inspire.”
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Watch the trailer below.