First look at Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour

Darkest Hour

by Phil de Semlyen |
Published on

Winston Churchill has been played by British thesps from Albert Finney to Michael Gambon and soon Brian Cox, but never with quite the dedication to physical verisimilitude of Darkest Hour’s Winston. Yes, this is Gary Oldman. Honest. Take a closer look below.

Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour

Joe Wright’s latest dramatises the early days of Churchill’s Prime Ministership. With the Wehrmacht stomping across Europe and Hitler at his most bullish, the nation’s leader was left with a stark choice: negotiate a humiliating peace with Germany or dig in and fight back. He sat back, lit a cigar and said, “Matthew, I’ll take option B.”

Except, of course, the reality was much less straightforward. As Anthony McCarten's script will chart, the strain was enormous and he lent heavily on the support of his stalwart wife Clementine (Kristin Scott Thomas). Ben Mendelsohn and John Hurt star as King George VI and ex-PM Neville Chamberlain respectively.

Darkest Hour is about a visionary leader who stood firm in the face of tremendous pressure to abandon his unique point of view on the world,” explains Focus Features boss Peter Kujawski, "so it is fitting that his story will be told by these visionary filmmakers.”

Darkest Hour will be fighting them in the cinema aisles from 29 December.

Photo credit: Jack English

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