Under the Radar

'Darkest Hour': How Churchill Inspired Britain to Keep Up the Fight

"Darkest Hour," which chronicles the first days of Winston Churchill's leadership as Prime Minister of Great Britain, is out 2/27 on Blu-ray & DVD and now on Digital HD.

Nominated for 6 Academy Awards, you can get a head start on your Oscar pool now and write in Gary Oldman as Best Actor. Best Hair and Makeup is also a lock. It's also up for Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design and Best Production Design.

"Darkest Hour" makes a good double feature with "Dunkirk." While Christopher Nolan's movie (also nominated for Best Picture) concentrates on the context-free experiences of troops on land, sea and in the air, "Darkest Hour" explains the political maneuvering behind the evacuation at Dunkirk.

Anyone who's old enough to remember Oldman's breakthrough role as Sid Vicious in "Sid and Nancy" back in 1986 will marvel at his transformation here. We've got a clip from the home video bonus features that details Oldman's shape-shifting transformation for the role.

 

Churchill was unpopular in his own party but became PM when Neville Chamberlain's government faltered and he became the compromise candidate. Most men in power wanted the nation to negotiate a peace with Hitler, but Churchill convinced the nation that the Nazis must be resisted and defeated.

The movie also features Ben Mendelsohn as King George VI and the movie details how the king came around to Churchill's view and how crucial his support was to stopping Hitler's plans for European domination. There's also a fantasy sequence in which Churchill rides the subway for the first time in his life and discovers the resolve of the British people against the Nazi menace. If you're looking for a movie that just sticks to the facts, this one isn't for you.

There are excellent bonus features included with this release:

Into Darkest Hour – A comprehensive overview of all that went into making this epic wartime drama, including how they maintained authenticity in depicting 1940’s London.

Gary Oldman: Becoming Churchill – Filmmakers, cast, and crew marvel at Gary Oldman’s layered, transformative performance. Oldman himself weighs in on the greatest challenges of portraying a man as iconic and complicated as Winston Churchill.

Feature commentary with Director Joe Wright

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