Darkest Hour [2017] ★★½

 The Oscar for best actor in a leading role goes to Gary Oldman. His brilliant performance as Prime Minister Winston Churchill is the best, and probably only reason to see this slice of history. Of the movie itself, I can’t say I loved it. I suppose there’s no other way of depicting a history lesson without resorting to endless dialogues. That can be exhausting, especially for a film that clocks in at 2 hours. The year is 1940. Hitler and Nazism were on the rise. “Darkest Hour” refers to a dark time in British history. When Churchill accepted the post of Prime Minister, he had zero support from the people surrounding him. The movie focuses on Churchill’s efforts to win a nation over and show the people that he’s more than capable to win a war. As a history buff, I was more than hooked. But even an avid history fan will have to admit that this one feels a bit dry and uneven at times. What keeps it afloat is the mesmerizing work of its star. Oldman goes beyond mimicry to fully inhabit his character. Director Joe Wright steers him well, but it’s a shame the movie isn’t truly worthy of this sensational performance.

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