What’s it about?
Handed the poison chalice of leading a country facing imminent invasion by the undefeatable Nazis, the man responsible for the catastrophe at Gallipoli fights on all fronts: denigrators within his own government, Nazi forces amassing in France, and his own inner demons.
What did we think?
Stephen Scott says: A stirring portrayal of the first days of Winston Churchill rule in WWII, this is no dry history lesson: the script energetically spotlights the politics and perils of leadership and the immense influence of rhetoric. Gary Oldman’s acting masterclass (in his overdue Oscar-winning role) is equally supported by a quality cast (Ben Mendelsohn’s portrayal of King George VI is particularly noteworthy); the uneasy, claustrophobic atmosphere created by Wright’s clever direction, shot-framing and editing; and the niggling social commentary on the little people being toyed with by the power brokers from above.
If a movie is this finely crafted does it matter if its Oscar-bait?