Winston Churchill is usually better known for uniting Britain during World War II and getting the British people through those incredibly trying times. Yet this film doesn't focus on that part of Churchill's life, instead, its focus is on Churchill's most trying times as a Prime Minister.
Through a robust performance and the clever use of framing and archival footage, Darkest Hour portrays Churchill's (Gary Oldman) personal struggle to win over the people, the Parliament and most importantly the King (Ben Mendelsohn) during his first few months as prime minister. With threats of resignations from Halifax (Stephen Dillane), the potential for massive casualties and uncooperative allies, Churchill seems hopelessly adrift in unfamiliar waters. It truly is his darkest hour.
Although, all is not lost for Churchill, as right by his side is his ever-loyal wife Clemmie (Kristin Scott Thomas), his secretary (Lily James) and his small group of supporters. Their inclusion in the film not only serve to show the support he received, but they are also used to show his loving and humorous side during this time. In turn providing plenty of laughs, in what would otherwise be a very dramatic and intense film.
It is because of this effort to go deeper into the story of Churchill and Dunkirk, that the film director, Joe Wright, has been able to create something quite memorable.