Darkest Hour is directed by Joe Wright and stars Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, and others. This movie isn’t necessary a biopic about Winston Churchill’s entire life. Instead, the movie focuses on Churchill as he first comes into power up to the point of the Dunkirk evacuation, he deals with the doubts many people have about him, and it shows the process of how he made many of his great speeches. In addition, it shows the debates he has with other members of parliament over Hitler, whether Britain should fight on or sign a peace agreement. In many ways, this is a political drama in addition to a biography.
In a sense, this movie is a companion piece to Dunkirk, as this movie mainly shows the conflict from Churchill’s point of view while that movie showed the conflict from the soldiers point of view. The best part of this movie is Gary Oldman. He does a terrific job playing Churchill. He shows both charm and charisma. Unfortunately, the story is a let down. It’s a very interesting story, but it would’ve worked better as a tv mini-series or normal documentary. As a film, the story feels as if parts and details were cut out or shortened and it makes the overall film feel rather dull and a little disjointed in areas.
In the end, Darkest Hour benefits from a terrific performance from Oldman, but apart from him, there’s not much else to see unfortunately. The story to the direction is just ok. But it’s still worth watching and I rate this a 60%.
All the Money in the World
All the Money in the World is directed by Ridley Scott and stars Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg, and Christopher Plummer. The movie is about the 1973 kidnapping of J. Paul Getty III, grandson of Paul Getty, one of the richest men in the world. When his grandson is captured, Getty refuses to pay the ransom money, partly because he feels his other grandsons would get captured if he paid up, but also because Getty was in love with money. Despite having so much money, he hated to spend it and felt insecure. When he bought paintings, he thought of it as an investment and he even had a payphone for guests to use in his England residence. Anyway, Getty has his adviser, ex-CIA agent Fletcher Chase, played by Wahlberg, assist the kidnapped boy’s mother in finding him and rescuing him from the kidnappers.
The best part about this movie is Christopher Plummer. Plummer, who’s 88 years old now and made his big debut in 1965’s The Sound of Music, is wonderful playing Getty. He acts both cold and witty in his portrayal of Getty. It’s more amazing because Kevin Spacey originally played Getty. When the horrific allegations against Spacey came out, director Ridley Scott cut Spacey out of the movie entirely and replaced him with Plummer. In the space of 2 weeks, Plummer was able to do all his shots and the movie was finished in time for it’s Christmas release. As for the other actors, Willaims does a good job playing Paul’s mother while Wahlberg did an only decent job in his role. Ridley Scott, who’s directed movies for 40 years now does a decently good job here. The cinematography and music is well done, while the execution of the story (which does make some changes from the real-life story) is only done in an ok manner.
As a character drama, the story works. We see Getty’s state of mind and Paul’s mother pleading for the elder Getty to pay the ransom. However, this movie also tries to be a thriller, and it’s there that it does not work. Despite Scott’s efforts, there’s simply not enough tension to make this story thrilling. The somewhat slow pacing also hurts this. But in the end, All the Money in the World is movie with some great acting and a story that works in some areas and does not as much in other areas. I give this a 70%.