Gary Oldman’s Turn as Churchill in ‘Darkest Hour’ May Lead to a Finest Hour at Oscars

Actor could finally win elusive Academy Award with director Joe Wright's WWII drama.

September 3, 2017 9:46 am
Darkest Hour
Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in 'Darkest Hours' (Focus Features)

He shall go on to the end…of awards season.

The highly-anticipated World War II drama, Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman as iconic British prime minister Winston Churchill, made its world premiere Saturday night at the Telluride Film Festival and may prove what the film’s lead needs to finally enter the movie history books.

Judging by the critics’ raving reactions to Oldman’s performance, he may finally land the Oscar that has eluded him thus far over his career.

In director Joe Wright’s drama, Oldman, virtually unrecognizable under prosthetic makeup, plays Churchill during the first few weeks as prime minister, leading up to the Battle of Dunkirk.

That tumultuous period for Churchill has been back in the zeitgeist recently with the popularity of the movie, Dunkirk, and a RealClearLife feature on “the week that saved the world.” 

“The 59-year-old veteran chews scenery like he’s starving, and particularly wows in a train scene that may be apocryphal, but is the film’s best,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter critic Scott Feinberg. 

“To the surprise of many, Oldman still is Oscar-less — he’s been nominated just once, for 2011’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy — but he could finally take home a statuette this season; for now, he’s the man to beat in the best actor race.”

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