FunAstrology"The darkest hour": Oscar cinema in the late program

"The darkest hour": Oscar cinema in the late program

In May 1940 the British Prime Minister was about to set an important course. Gary Oldman in an award-winning political drama.

Berlin – Shortly after taking office as British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill is faced with very difficult decisions in the early summer of 1940. Adolf Hitler’s armies overrun Western Europe and threaten Great Britain.

Churchill’s political opponents put pressure on him to negotiate peace with Nazi Germany. But the statesman risks evacuating the British troops from Dunkirk and takes high losses himself. “The darkest hour” runs on Wednesday night at 0.15 on ZDF.

Gary Oldman takes on the leading role as a political heavyweight. Actually, the actor bears no resemblance to the British statesman. But his deceptively believable transformation with the help of make-up artist special effects was considered worthy of an award even before the film was released – Oldman won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for best leading actor in 2018. The makeup artists also took home an Oscar. Rightly so: Oldman convincingly portrays the sometimes grumpy-depressive, often mumbling and increasingly isolated Prime Minister. Gary Oldman disappears almost completely under the upholstery – but his mannerisms look lifelike.

The tests with make-up and fat prostheses lasted six months. At the same time, director Joe Wright and his main actor developed the role in great detail. “Churchill smoked a lot of cigars and drank a lot. That’s why his breathing was very specific, “said director Joe Wright in 2018 of the German Press Agency. “Then we started discussing how he was going – purposefully, with energy and dynamism.”

The famous speeches of the gifted rhetorician and later winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature are the highlights of the film, but also reveal its weaknesses: the lengthy rhetoric of his legendary “Blood, Sweat and Tears” is reminiscent of a history lesson; a lot is told through words instead of pictures. Only when the film breaks out of the beautifully stylized isolation of the underground command center do we catch glimpses of the silent desperation of the British soldiers and the perseverance of the London population.

Director Wright is known for his elegant film aesthetics: In “Atonement” he showed the horror of war on the beach in Dunkirk in an unforgettable sequence. In “The Darkest Hour” he tells this story from a different perspective – than political theater – and links it to Churchill’s biography. Oldman embodies the statesman. But above all Kristin Scott Thomas as his wife Clementine and Lily James as a young private secretary manage to make the legend tangible and, with sometimes biting humor, separate Churchill from the myth. dpa

Winston Churchill: the 10 best phrases of the former prime minister of the United...

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom between 1940 and 1945 and between 1951 and 1955, was one of the most influential politicians in the history of Europe.