Run time: 98 mins
Brian Cox works hard in Jonathan Teplitzky’s timely ‘lesson’ in political leadership.
It opens 96 hours before the Allied invasion of Normandy: D-Day. The man who announced “we shall never surrender” four years earlier is a shell of that Churchill.
Exhausted and haunted by guilt over the disastrous Gallipoli debacle in 1915, where hundreds of thousands lost their lives, he fears this invasion will have the same horrific results.
Falling into depression and the bottle, it is the unwavering support of wife Clementine (a shrewd Miranda Richardson) which he needs most to bring him out of his funk and inspire him on to ‘greatness’.
Whilst benefitting from smart screenwriting and handsome photography, Churchill ultimately relies on its fine lead. Cox’s performance of an old man railing against the dying of the light is
Lear-esque. A once confident statesman and World leader fearing his place in history is in jeopardy.
“Churchill goes beyond stock images of the machine gun wielding British bulldog in the homburg. It shows his weaknesses.” (Independent) (Research Chris Coetsee)
“What is this film on? It turns the arch bullying, eccentric tough guy into a wobbly-lipped moany snowflake. This might have been a clever counterintuitive film but…?” (CL ST Culture) You decide.