Here is another movie nominated for Best Picture, and for darn good reason. The movie took what could have been a dry look at war time politics and made it riveting, fascinating even. In large part this is due to Gary Oldman's portrayal of Winston Churchill - if I didn't know it was Gary Oldman I might not have guessed, he was truly transformed into this role in look, speech, and manner.
The movie starts as Churchill is selected to replace Neville Chamberlain as Prime Minister in the early days of World War II. Churchill is immediately faced with insurmountable odds, looming destruction, and the fate of a nation and its people in his hands. The pressing issue is the decision as to whether or not they should try to negotiate peace with Hitler, or resist. Going on at the same time is the siege of British troops at Dunkirk, for which Churchill proposes an unusual solution - mobilizing a civilian army of sorts. Interestingly enough, the movie that focuses on this story, "Dunkirk", is also nominated for Best Picture this year.
This movie really shows not just the political side of Churchill, but some of his personal failings and struggles as well. I loved seeing his relationship with his wife, as she both fully supports and challenges him. As the movie hurtled towards its climax, I was wide awake and energized, anticipating what he was going to do next. Even though I know what was ultimately going to happen, I enjoyed learning more about the journey to get there. I highly recommend, and I can certainly see why it was nominated for Best Picture!