Tell the story.
As a passionate history student and a writer, I often find myself in conflict with this command.
“But, it happened in so many years…”
“These two characters never shared a conversation!” [or did they?]
And so goes my struggle until my fellow writer and producer friends remind me, “tell the story.”
I accomplished something I very seldom do: I removed all caps as an actor, a director, a playwright and actually put on my audience cap.
DARKEST HOUR accomplished what I wanted: it told the story.
With only 30 minutes since the day end credits ended, I’m still trying to decide if I liked the screenplay, the directing, the acting, and the cinematography (it’s not really one of those movies for grand cinematography but the lighting was very nice throughout). I haven’t a clue if there was any music, so I’m guessing I was completely engaged with the movie.
There was one neat cinematic moment which was blocked with a theatrical tone following Churchill’s first speech to parliament. The leaders were cleverly maneuvered, as though they were ready to perform “Telephone Hour” from BYE, BYE BIRDIE.
Naturally, after telling the British people they’d be fighting on the land, in the air, and on the beaches, a Rocky atop the steps moment erupted with Churchill exiting as sheets of paper floated down.
It took me quite a while to warm up to the actor portraying Churchill, and that was my fault. The director-me had a preconceived idea of how I wanted him to play the role. In the end, he won me over.
For me, personally, the real winner was the actress portraying Clementine Churchill.
Out of the damn ballpark.
I loved how she was written, how she was directed (perhaps), and whatever she did to bring Clemmy to life on the screen. Bravo.
This is where I had to reconcile my thoughts about the actor playing Winston. The chemistry between the two characters was electrifying. I wanted to be sitting at the table with them, between them on the sofa and standing beside them in every other scene.
It’s a very good movie. I’d like to see it again.
It told the story.