Gary Oldman is quite simply one of the greatest actors living today. His next performance looks like it may be his greatest ever. The man who is known for his chameleon-like ability to change his look has virtually disappeared into the visage of Winston Churchill in the new film about the man's ascendance to the position of Prime Minister during World War II, Darkest Hour. Check out the first trailer below.
The Darkest Hour is a phrase that Winston Churchill famously used to describe the period of World War II after France had been invaded by Nazi forces and Great Britain was the only major power fighting against Germany. The new film that borrows that phrase for its title isn't simply about the difficult time for the nation, but more specifically about that period for Winston Churchill himself. The trailer shows us a nation that is far from convinced that Churchill is the man to lead them through this difficult period.
We see two sides to Winston Churchill in the trailer. We see the outwardly tough face that the man is best known for, but we also see a vulnerable man who is far from convinced that he'll be as successful as he needs to be. Gary Oldman pulls both aspects of the man off perfectly from what we see. Darkest Hour is clearly designed to be an awards contender and based on this first sample we can't really argue. This movie could be huge.
Considering how broad and impressive Gary Oldman's career has been, he's only been nominated for an Academy Award once, for 2011's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. While it may be too early to put his name on the ballot right now, his name certainly belongs in the early conversation. Biopics and movies based on true stories tend to do well when it comes to awards and the fact that film is releasing this fall surely shows the studio thinks this one will be a contender.
One of the more interesting elements to the trailer may be the reference to Dunkirk. We saw a pretty good film by Christopher Nolan this summer which told of the events on the beach at Dunkirk from multiple perspectives, but one thing that film didn't show us was what was going on at home and how the people in power were dealing with the situation. While Dunkirk will likely be a small part of Darkest Hour overall, it may form an interesting companion piece for those who saw Dunkirk earlier this year.
We're certainly excited to see more of this one. Darkest Hour opens in limited release in New York and Los Angeles beginning November 22 and will expand to other markets in the following months.