Darkest Hour – Not dark enough
I wonder if anyone’s heard anything about that story before. Is it real? Yes? How real is it? Does it matter? Pretty much everything in the film is overshadowed by the performance of the majesty that is Gary Oldman. So much so that it’s even nominated for the Oscar Award in Best Achievement in Cinematography, though it has its fair share of “mishaps”. Anyway. Back to the screenplay, which, once again, as it’s a “based on” production, takes perhaps certain liberties that are somewhat difficult to swallow in the form of inane scenes and moments that would be (are) cringe worthy if not for the great acting.
Oldman is spectacular and like some have said – it’s a one man show. Which it’s true. Not to lessen others, well established members of the cast, who are also great, but it just goes to show the magnitude of Oldman’s performance and pretty much just because of that, it’s a film worth watching.
All in all, the general set design, costumes and make up are to be praised. However, the camera work is way over the top at times and goes overboard with the extravagant behaviour. Unnecessarily so. It did not help the storytelling, if anything, it diminished it and the general effort put in the rest of the film’s CGI budget. Definitely not something worth giving an Oscar for.
Directing wise, if you’ve seen Joe Wright’s earlier work, you pretty much know what you can expect. He does a decent job, but it rarely touches the ceiling. And though Darkest Hour is enjoyable for the most part, the aforementioned issues cripple the story. It seems like director himself was on the point were he had to choose and unfortunately he chose to give in. Perhaps it makes the story more cinematic. One could argue. But it definitely didn’t make it dark enough.