As the Nazis storm their way through Europe, Winston Churchill, newly-elected Prime Minister of England, finds himself with the unenviable job of deciding his country’s future. The choices seem clear but with his every decision questioned by the King and a hostile government, he soon makes enemies of the very people that helped put him in office. Knowing he must go to war, Churchill must find the best way to rally the people behind him to face a deadly threat that is poised to wipe out freedom on a global scale.
2017, Color, Rated PG-13, 2 Hr 5 mins
Dolby Atmos, TrueHD 7.1, 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Gary Oldman, Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas
Directed by Joe Wright
Darkest Hour follows closely on the heels of Christopher Nolan’s successful film Dunkirk. Here, we see Winston Churchill in his early days as Prime Minister, not only trying to rescue the entire British Army from a remote beach in France, but having to find a way to convince appeasers in the government that risking millions of lives in a bloody war is the best way to defeat those who would destroy freedom in Europe.
The story is told from an intimate perspective, that of his wife, played by Kristin Scott Thomas; and his new secretary, played by Lily James, who you’ll remember from Downton Abbey. The star here is without a doubt, Gary Oldman. You will not recognize behind one of most amazing makeup jobs I’ve ever seen. And he gives a masterful performance as well. If a golden statue doesn’t soon appear on his mantle, I’ll be shocked.
There is plenty of fine detail to be seen on this Blu-ray, and it’s presented with a minimum of film grain in high contrast and with a natural color palette. There is nothing to complain about here.
Dolby Atmos doesn’t have much in the way of overhead information to offer in this release but the dialog-driven film presents voices in rich tones that are always easy to understand. Ambient effects occasionally linger in the surround channels creating a good sense of space.
Considering the historical significance of the events portrayed, I was surprised to find fewer than 15 minutes of bonus features on this disc. Aside from two brief making-of pieces, you get audio commentary from director Joe Wright.