Certificate PG

(2017) 105 mins

Director: Jonathan Teplitzki
Writer: Alex von Tunzelmann
Cinematography: David Higgs
Production Design: Chris Roope
Music: Lorne Balfe


Tensions mount for the beleaguered British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Brian Cox) in the days leading up to infamous Allied D-Day landings in Normandy, France in June, 1944. Fearful of repeating his deadly mistakes from World War I in the Battle of Gallipoli, exhausted by years of war, plagued by depression and obsessed with his historical destiny, Churchill is reluctant to embark on the large-scale campaign, one that the entire war effort hinges upon. Clashing with his Allied political opponents U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower (John Slattery) and British Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery (Julian Wadham), the troubled Churchill receives support and devotion from his wife, the brilliant and unflappable Clementine Churchill (Miranda Richardson). With her strength and shrewdness, “Clemmie” halts Winston’s physical, mental spiritual collapse and inspires him on to greatness.  From the official website

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Brian Cox has a face of carved granite. The camera loves it. His performance is not so much an impersonation as the reflection of a psyche and you can’t keep your eyes off him. Was he born to play this role? If so he had to wait until the time was right and now is that time, now is that moment. As for Miranda Richardson she invests Clemmie with a strength of character that withstands Winston’s intolerance and bullying.  Together they bring to the film a genuine aura of excellence.”  Eye for Film

Much like the title of the film itself, this is an unfussy, straight-shooting and dignified peek at the great statesman. For epic battle footage, it would be wise to wait for Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. And for a more upbeat portrayal, Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour would seem to be a good bet for the new year.  But that would mean missing out on this precisely focused, heartfelt drama, which is skilfully positioned around one man’s self-doubt, depression and destiny. . . Bolstered by clear-cut direction from Teplitzky, and with excitingly staged disputes over the controversial operation at hand, Churchill hits all the right notes, bringing a slice of history to life in its most palatable and entertaining form.”  Radio Times

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